Photographic Disclosure in Facebook and Relational Closeness with Others

Houghton, David
Joinson, Adam
Caldwell, Nigel
Marder, Ben
Collins, Emily
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Prior research has identified the usefulness of social media in the maintenance of relationships. Such research is predominantly based on overall platform use, the use and affordances of multiple different communication features, or the text-based content of disclosed messages. Little research exists into the disclosure effects of different photographic content, the frequency at which it is shared and how this associates with differences in relational closeness. This research gap becomes increasingly poignant with the mass adoption of social media, the existence of multiple relationship types within these platforms, and the increase in sites based on photographic disclosure alone. This research examines the implications of the perceived frequency of disclosure in Facebook on relational closeness with different relationship types. Survey findings (N=445) show that perceived frequency of posting photographs is significantly associated with changes in relational closeness (companionship, intimacy, support), differing by the relationship held and the photographic depiction.
Social Media and Communities, Disclosure, photographs, relationships, social media
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