User Perceptions of Social Media: A Comparative Study of Perceived Characteristics and User Profiles by Social Media

Sylvia M. Chan-Olmsted 1 *, Moonhee Cho 2, Sangwon Lee 3

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Despite the proliferation of social media and the widespread adoption of these diverse communication tools, there is a lack of studies that conceptualize the characteristics of social media as perceived by users and compare the perceived characteristics or benefits of different social media types. This study examines the user perceptions of six main groups of social media—blogs, micro-blogs, social networks, wikis, forums, and content communities—on five dimensions: participation, commonality, connectedness, conversationality, and openness. User profiles are also investigated to assess the role of demographics and usage in such perceptions. The results of a national consumer panel survey show that different social media applications are perceived differently and social media usage patterns, gender, and age affect these perceptions.


Social media user perceptions perceived characteristics


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 3, Issue 4, October 2013, pp. 149-178

Published Online: 25 Oct 2013

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