Brett Bumgarner’s UNC Honors Thesis on the uses and gratifications of Facebook is now published on/at/by First Monday (Volume 12 Number 11 – 5 November 2007). This is a groundbreaking study with a very high N:
The social networking site Facebook has become an inescapable phenomenon for college students, but little systematic research has studied why these students use Facebook. I conducted an online survey among Facebook users at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (N = 1,049) to examine why they use Facebook and how it fulfills their needs. The most prevalent use of Facebook was as a social activity – students reported using Facebook with friends to view and discuss other people’s profiles. Essentially, Facebook appears to operate primarily as a tool for the facilitation of gossip.
Note: Fred and I were Brett’s advisors. Jane Brown was the lead advisor and a great one.