In the last few decades, the society has been going through a significant change due to the rapid technological developments such as the invention of the Internet, Web 2.0 and mobile operating systems. Social media have become one of the major channels where social interaction takes place in a technologically empowered society. Among social media channels, social network sites in particular, serve to be a new way of self-expression and a tool for gratifying both social and personal needs. Recent research on social networks demonstrates that these sites are utilized mainly for social interaction, information sharing/seeking, entertainment, relaxation, surveillance, etc. Photo sharing is the most common form of content sharing on these mostly image-based sites. Despite the extensive adoption of these sites as a means of photo sharing, the number of studies investigating the gratifications underlying photo sharing behavior is rather low. So as to address the gap, this study aims at casting light on user gratifications in sharing photo on social network sites within the framework of “Uses and Gratification Approach”. An exploratory study has been conducted with college students aged 18-24, who make up the highest rate of social networks use in Turkey. Through in-depth interviews, seven different gratifications have been identified: archiving, affection seeking, attention seeking, self-presentation, habitual pastime, entertainment, information sharing. The results have been discussed as regards age and gender.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Social Network Sites, Social Media, Uses and Gratifications Approach, Photo Sharing, In-Depth Interview