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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Social media is built upon user-generated content and interactivity between users. Understanding the users within social media is therefore imperative to understanding how social media itself functions. This chapter explores the users of social media in more detail and asks the two key questions of who uses social media, and why they do so. When looking towards past research for inspiration as a way to understand user interest towards media, the Uses and Gratifications model stands out as a key approach for exploring media uptake. Therefore, the chapter starts by focusing on the Uses and Gratifications framework and how it can be used to explain why individuals are drawn to social media. The framework is then expanded to discuss how individuals’ personal needs, in particular personality, can impact upon such motivations.

Keywords: Uses and gratifications, social media, motivations, users, needs

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