Mobile-Based Social Media, What Is Cutting?: Mobile-Based Social Media: Extensive Study Findings

Mobile-Based Social Media, What Is Cutting?: Mobile-Based Social Media: Extensive Study Findings

Christopher Kipchumba Chepken (University of Nairobi, Kenya)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1041-4.ch007
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In this chapter, results obtained from a longitudinal study on Social Media (SM) use are reported. Previous studies have mostly carried out contextualized research and not a lot of it has been done in Kenya and especially with the emerging mobile application SM platforms. The key objective of the study was to understand the general aspects of emerging SM platforms with a view of mapping out study areas going forward. The study used mixed method approach for an extended period. To effectively carry out the study, seven themes were identified through a preliminary study and literature review. A summary of the results show that mobile app SM platforms are gaining popularity among users. SM uses are majorly socialization, but other uses such as political campaigns, fundraising, and religious uses are taking root. SM groups are dominating; even though SM is reach in functionality, users expect more. There exist various challenges associated with social media use and SM study methodological challenges. Finally, the study established seven key themes which can frame SM studies.
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Social media (SM) is undoubtedly growing at a very fast rate, probably like its facilitating technologies, such as the Internet and the mobile phones (Morrison, 2014). Research and use of SM as research tools is also growing too fast. The growth has reached an extent the trends, methods, tools and techniques of doing research on or with SM is becoming challenging as their growth escalates (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). The difference among the existing and everyday upcoming social media sites, tools and purposes exasperates the complex situation, which among other things is made complex by the various uses of social media, the diversity of users across the globe, the various types of social media, the growing numbers of social media platforms among many other unknowns, which emerge as SM evolves.

The definitions associated with Social Media (SM) can be as diverse as the number of written definitions (Cohen, 2011; Fuchs, 2017; Nations 2018). However, in all these definitions, one theme which comes out is that, social media can be defined from the two words that make it, social and media (Nations, 2018) with Social referring to people interacting with each other by receiving and/or sending information while Media on the other hand referring to an instrument of communication (Fuchs, 2017; Nations, 2018). SM can therefore be defined as any communication tools/instruments which allow people to interact through sharing and use of information. These communication tools are mainly internet-based services, some of which work through the mobile network infrastructure. A major characteristic which differentiates Social media from other communication tools is its two-way communication channel, different from the one way usually provided by the mass media channels (Pan, & Crotts, 2012), such as TV, radio, websites and asynchronous communications (such as emails). This study does not go into deeply defining social media as is defined in sociological and other related theories (Fuches, 2017). A simple definition adopted for this study is that SM, in the context of technology or innovation use could be seen as tools and applications classified as such.

Social Media (SM), as a communication tool allowing users to interact by sending and consuming information can be classified into two major categories, namely Social Network sites (SNS) and Social Media Applications (SMA). Social network sites are web-based services that allow social networking between or among its users (Danah & Nicole, 2007; Miller, 2012). SM applications are mainly computer or mobile device applications (Kaplan, 2012). Under the SM applications, Short message service (SMS) can easily be classified as one of them. Other examples of the current known SM platforms include WhatsApp1, Telegram2, Instagram3, Twitter4, Facebook5, Bulksms, Snapchat6 among many more coming up. These applications can be defined further using social application building blocks as specified by Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy and Silvestre, (2011) and Smith (2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Media Group: Generally, they are groups that people form through social networks for special occasions or occasions.

Social Networks: information, comments, messages, pictures and so on. a private website or other application that allows users to communicate with each other by sending.

Mobile Social Networks: Social networks, web-based, mobile application or mobile browser through the web site to enable them to integrate with them through a number of plug-ins.

Social media: Web sites and applications that allow users to create and share content or join social networks.

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