An investigation into facebook “liking” behavior an exploratory study

Marie Ozanne, Ana Cueva Navas, Anna S. Mattila, Hubert B. Van Hoof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This article reports on a study that explored users’ motives in using the Like feature on Facebook. Data were collected by means of in-depth interviews of daily Facebook users in two distinct cultures, the United States and Ecuador. The findings of the study reveal that the Like may be used (1) to acknowledge the gratifications obtained with the use of Facebook, (2) to share information with others, and (3) as a tool for impression management. Four categories of gratified usage motives influencing Liking behavior with distinctly different preferences in each culture, were found. The four categories that gratified usage motives are entertainment, information/discovery, bounding, and self-identification. Three types of underlying motives dominated the use of the Like to share information: presentation of the self, presentation of the extended-self, and social obligations. Finally, the Like can be used as a self-protective tool for impression management. The present findings lay the foundation for a grounded theory model that may guide future research efforts in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Media and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Computer Science Applications


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