Online social networks: Why do students use facebook?

Christy M K CHEUNG, Pui Yee Chiu, Matthew K.O. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

814 Citations (Scopus)


The growth and popularity of online social networks has created a new world of collaboration and communication. More than a billion individuals around the world are connected and networked together to create, collaborate, and contribute their knowledge and wisdom. Despite the importance of online social networks, there is relatively little theory-driven empirical research available to address this new type of communication and interaction phenomena. In this paper, we explored the factors that drive students to use online social networks (e.g., Facebook). Specifically, we conceptualized the use of online social networks as intentional social action and we examined the relative impact of social influence, social presence, and the five key values from the uses and gratification paradigm on We-Intention to use online social networks. An empirical study of Facebook users (n = 182) revealed that We-Intention to use online social networks is strongly determined by social presence. Among the five values, social related factors had the most significant impact on the intention to use. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1343
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Facebook
  • Online social networks
  • Social influence
  • Social presence
  • Uses and gratifications
  • We-Intention


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