Title: Impression management via content-dependent 'liking' on social media

Authors: Ruoyun Lin; Debora Jeske

Addresses: Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Schleichstraße 6, 72076 Tübingen, Germany ' Edinburgh Napier University, 219 Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH14 1DJ, UK

Abstract: A number of studies have examined the motives behind the use of one-click communication features such as the 'like' button. This study considered how personality might shape how users employ the 'liking' button in order to establish different online impressions, particularly when online posts include both everyday (normal) or risky (controversial) content. Using an online survey, we tested whether self-monitoring, agreeableness, affinity seeking and need for gratification would influence the likelihood with which participants would 'like' posts given the transparent nature of social networks. Results based on an online sample (N = 217) revealed that 'liking' of normal posts was positively predicted by agreeableness and need for gratification. However, only need for gratification positively predicted 'liking' of controversial posts. This indicates that the content of the post as well as the personality characteristics play a role in online one-click interaction, reflecting different means to manage impressions online.

Keywords: personality types; impression management; self-presentation; one-click communication; social media posts; social networks; likes; like button; self-monitoring; agreeableness; affinity seeking; gratification needs; post content.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2016.080814

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2016 Vol.12 No.4, pp.342 - 359

Received: 18 Nov 2015
Accepted: 12 Feb 2016

Published online: 07 Dec 2016 *

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