The Social Significance of the Facebook Like Button

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Eranti , V O & Lonkila , M K 2015 , ' The Social Significance of the Facebook Like Button ' , First Monday (Chicago) , vol. 2015 , no. 6 .

Title: The Social Significance of the Facebook Like Button
Author: Eranti, Veikko Oskari; Lonkila, Markku Kalle
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä
Date: 2015-06-02
Language: eng
Belongs to series: First Monday (Chicago)
ISSN: 1396-0466
Abstract: In this paper we study social aspects of using the Like button for purposes of impression management, identity construction, and maintenance of social ties online. On the theoretical level our investigation combines Goffman’s notion of face-work with concepts of social network analysis, shedding light on what we dub ‘nano-level’ interaction and sociality on social networking sites. Our data come from a 2013 classroom survey in which 26 Finnish university students were asked about their motives for and ways of using the Like button. Our results show that though the Like button was designed to allow users to express their positive evaluations of the contents of Facebook posts, comments, and pictures, it was in actual fact used for a wide variety of purposes, from dating efforts to conversation regulation and maintenance of social ties. Our results also reveal that the networked Facebook audience affects the users’ liking behavior, and that users reflect their liking based on previous likes.
Subject: 5141 Sociology
social networks
online social behavior

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