Do You Still Love Facebook? Understanding Users’ Perceptions Through a Novel Qualitative Method

Title

Do You Still Love Facebook? Understanding Users’ Perceptions Through a Novel Qualitative Method

Author

Alexandra Hutanu, Patricea-Elena Bertea

Classification JEL

M31.

Abstract

Even though Facebook is the most popular and most used social media platform, it is struggling with increased competition from other platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, and with a feeling of disconnection from users, coming from problems regarding personal data protection or the business model itself. Taking into consideration that Facebook was launched in 2004, we can say that the late Generation Z is Facebook native. What are the feelings of Facebook users after such a long “relationship”? This is what we aim to study through a novel qualitative research method called love-break up letter. This method was created in 2009 in the business sector by the consulting company Smart Design and consists of asking respondents to imagine that a certain product, service or brand is a real person and to write a love or break up letter addressed to it. Expressing feelings in writing does not involve any interference from the researcher, allowing respondents to be more honest about positive or negative emotions. In our study, we asked university students to write both types of letters for Facebook. Through content analysis, we identified an ambivalent attitude towards Facebook and the fact that the emotional connection is very strong. However, just like any other relationship, this one has its own ups and downs and frustrations accumulated over time. The present study can help academics understand the strong points of this new qualitative method, while revealing important insights about the attachment between users and Facebook. To our knowledge, there is no research that studies the emotional connection between users and Facebook using this method.

Keywords

social media, facebook, love break up letter.

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Please cite this article as: etimm (2020) Do You Still Love Facebook? Understanding Users’ Perceptions Through a Novel Qualitative Method. Journal of Emerging Trends in Marketing and Management. http://www.etimm.ase.ro/?p=622