Understanding domestic social media use among Chinese college students under the framework of uses and gratifications

Hua Pang


Although China has the world’s largest population of social media users, little is known what drives Chinese users to adopt the country’s leading media platforms, like QQ, WeChat, and Weibo, and what gratifications are satisfied by using these fastest-growing sites. In light of the literature on the uses and gratifications theory, the study explored the essential pattern of computer-mediated communication phenomena and interaction behaviors in Mainland China. In this exploratory study, 258 college students from Chinese universities were asked about their uses and gratifications of these social media sites. The factor analysis reveals five key dimensions relating to gratifications obtained from social media are identified: relationship maintenance, amusement, style, information seeking and sociability. Moreover, a hierarchical OLS regression analysis shows that there is a positive relationship between frequency of social media use and the needs of relationship maintenance and amusement. Furthermore, among the five socio-psychological values, the social related factor is revealed to be significantly and positively linked with spending time on the social media.


Social media; uses and gratifications; gratifications sought; gratifications obtained; college students; China

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2018.01.002


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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896