What value do users derive from social networking applications?


  • Larry Neale Queensland University of Technology
  • Rebekah Russell-Bennett Queensland University of Technology




social network*, value, application*, cool


Why do users of social networking sites recommend some applications to their friends while rejecting others? What value do they obtain from applications? This exploratory study investigates the value users derive from ‘cool’ Facebook applications, and explores the features that either encourage or discourage users to recommend applications to their friends. Our qualitative data reveal consumers derive a combination of functional value along with either social or emotional value from the applications. Female Facebook users indicate self-expression as important motivators, while males tend to use Facebook applications to socially compete. Three broad categories emerged for application features; symmetrical features can both encourage or discourage recommendation, polar features where different levels of the same feature encourage or discourage, and uni-directional features only encourage or discourage but not both. Recommending or not recommending an application tends to be the result of a combination of features and context, rather than one feature in isolation.

Author Biography

Larry Neale, Queensland University of Technology

Lecturer School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations




How to Cite

Neale, L., & Russell-Bennett, R. (2009). What value do users derive from social networking applications?. First Monday, 14(9). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v14i9.2506