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Decomposing social networking site regret: a uses and gratifications approach

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Regret is an undesirable yet very common outcome of social networking site (SNS) use. To date, the literature has examined SNS regret at an aggregate level. The purpose of this paper is to decompose the dimensions and constituents of SNS regret into networking regret and brand page regret, to better understand it, and examine how the two facets of regret are created by SNS use intensity and gratification. The authors also decomposed SNS activities into networking activities and brand page activities and positioned them as predictors of networking regret and brand page regret, respectively.


The authors drew on uses and gratifications theory and positioned interpersonal connectivity and exhibitionism as the antecedents of networking activities as well as informational value and exhibitionism as the antecedents of brand page activities. The authors collected data from 246 Facebook users from France and analyzed the data using the partial least squares approach.


The results show that use intensity has a marginal effect on both brand page and networking regret. However, exhibitionism was found to reinforce the effect of use intensity on both brand page and networking regret. It also had a positive effect on both networking and brand page activities. The other two gratifications, interpersonal connectivity and informational value, had a positive effect on networking and brand page activities, respectively.


To date, empirical attempts at investigating decomposed SNS regret have been rare. The paper fills this theoretical and empirical gap and contributes to the literature on regret in an SNS use context.
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Keywords: Brands; Regret; Social networking; Survey; Uses and gratification

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Turku, Turku, Finland 2: Department of Marketing and Communication, Paris School of Business, Paris, France

Publication date: April 8, 2019

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