Social and Technological Motivations for Online Photo Sharing

Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, S. Shyam Sundar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The popularity of social media sites for posting pictures has given rise to a new form of mediated communication: online photo sharing. This article explores motivations for sharing photos online, using the 2-step procedure common in Uses and Gratifications research. Focus groups revealed 42 motivations which were rated in importance by survey respondents (N = 460). Factor analysis revealed 4 classes of gratifications: seeking and showcasing experiences, technological affordances, social connection, and reaching out. These results suggest that photo sharing is driven by social needs and facilitated by interface features, with important implications for theories of technology and user psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-642
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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