Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Media Studies

Advisor(s)

Pamela J. Shoemaker

Keywords

digital media, public relations, satisfaction, social media, twitter, uses and gratifications

Subject Categories

Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Media

Abstract

This study proposed a uses and gratifications model of Twitter, an internet medium and micro-blog--a platform with both mass and interpersonal communication features for sending short messages to others. A survey was conducted among 242 Twitter users to test the model, including a standard investigation of gratifications sought and gratifications obtained of Twitter usage. In addition, expectations and availability of usage behaviors from McLeod and Becker's (1981) uses and gratifications model were examined. In the model, expectations were conceptualized as user expectations of satisfaction and operationalized as the difference between users' gratifications sought and gratifications actually obtained. Usage behavior availability was conceptualized as accessibility. The model hypothesized that (a) expectations of satisfaction are positively related to Twitter use; (b) accessibility is positively related to both expectations of satisfaction and Twitter use; and (c) that prior Twitter experience is negatively related to expectations of satisfaction and positively related to Twitter use. Multivariate analysis found two gratifications factors--social and information. Accessibility was positively related to expectations of satisfaction, but not Twitter use. Prior Twitter experience was positively related to Twitter use, but not expectations of satisfaction. Expectations of satisfaction also did not significantly predict Twitter use as the differences between gratifications sought and obtained were small. Counterintuitive to previous research noting social aspects of the internet, information gratifications significantly predicted Twitter use, while social gratifications did not.

Access

Open Access

Included in

Social Media Commons

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