Why Do They Post? Motivations and Uses of Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter among Kuwait College Students

© Media Watch 10 (3) 550-567, 2019
ISSN 0976-0911 E-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i3/49699

Why Do They Post? Motivations and Uses of Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter among Kuwait College Students

Fatima Alsalem
Kuwait University, Kuwait


This study explores the differences between Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter in terms of intensity of use and use motivations. Grounded in the theory of Uses and Gratifications, the current research compares the three platforms with exploratory factor analysis. A cross-sectional survey methodology of college students in Kuwait (N=692) asked respondents to identify the time they spend using social media, satisfaction with social media content, the intensity of using Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter as well as seven use motivations. The analysis of the data indicated that Instagram is the most popular platform among social media users, while Snapchat intensity of use is the highest. Based on the factor analysis results, motivations to use Snapchat are passing the time, self-expression, self-presentation, and entertainment. While the motivations to use Twitter are self-presentation, entertainment, and social interaction. Finally, passing time, social interaction, self-presentation, and entertainment are the motivations to use Instagram.

Keywords: Uses and Gratifications, motivations, social media, Snapchat,Instagram, Twitter


AlKandari, A.,  Abdelaziz, A. (2018) Selfie-taking motives and social psychological dispositions as predictors of selfie-related activities among university students in Kuwait. Mobile Media & Communication 6:3, pages 291-308.
AlKandari, A., AlSumait, F., & AlHunaiyyan, A. (2017) Looking perfect: Instagram use in a Kuwaiti cultural context. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 10(4), 273-290.
Alhabash, S., & Ma, M. ( 2017). A Tale of Four Platforms: Motivations and Uses of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat Among College Students? Social media+society, 1-13.
Alajmi, M. A., Alharbi, A. H., & Ghuloum, H. F. (2016). Predicting the use of Twitter in developing countries: Integrating innovation attributes, uses and gratifications, and trust approaches. Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 19, 215-237.
Alrajehi, M. (2016). Twitter uses and gratifictaions of high school students. Global Media Journal, 14 (27).  Retrieved from http://www.globalmediajournal.com/ArchiveGMJ/currentissue-global-media-journal.php
Al-Menayes, J. (2015). Motivations for Using Social Media: An Exploratory Factor Analysis.  International Journal of Psychological Studies, 7 (1), 43-50.
Alfailakawi, Y. (2018). What Do Selfies Say about Young Kuwaitis? Media Watch, 9 (2) 167-181.
Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. (2017). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship.  Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.
Charney, T., & Greenberg, B. (2001). Uses and gratifications of the Internet. In C. Lin &  D. Atkin (Eds.), Communication, Technology, and Society: New Media Adoption and uses. Hampton Press.
Doyle, B. (2017 October 30). Snapchat users and advertising stats for the Middle East. Wallaroo Media. Retrieved from https://wallaroomedia.com
Dubai School of Government (2013, 2017). Arab social media report. Retrieved from https://www.mbrsg.ae/getattachment/1383b88a-6eb9-476a-bae4-61903688099b/Arab-Social-Media-Report-2017
Dunne, A., Lawlor, M., & Rowley, J. (2010) “Young people’s use of online social networking sites –uses and gratifications perspective,” Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 4(1), 46-58.
Eighmey, J., & McCord, L. (1998). Adding Value in the Information Age: Uses and Gratifications of Sites on the World Wide Web. Journal of Business Research, 41(3), 187-194.
Greenfield, R. (2013, July 12). In Kuwait, Instagram Accounts Are Big Business. The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved from https://www.thewire.com/technology/
Joe, P., Jin, S.V., & Kim, J. (2017). Gratifications of using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat to follow Brands: The Moderating Effect of Social Comparison, Trust, Tie Strength, and Network Homophily on Brand Identification, Brand Engagement, Brand Commitment, and Membership Intention. Telematics and Informatics, 34(1), 412-424.
Kircaburun, K., Alhabash, S., Tosuntas, S., and Griffiths, M. (2018).Uses and Gratifications of Problematic Social Media Use Among University Students: a Simultaneous Examination of the Big Five of Personality Traits, Social Media Platforms, and Social Media Use Motives. International Journal of Mental Health Addiction.
Kamal, S (2016, July 29). Social media usage in Kuwait. A double-edged sword. Kuwait News Agency. Retrieved from https://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2514275&language=en
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons: Kelley School of Business, 53, 59-68.
Katz, E. (1959). Mass communication research and the study of daily serial listeners: An editorial note on a possible future for this journal. Studies in Public Communication, 2, 1–6.
Kwak, H. Hosung, C.L., & Moon, S. (2010). What is Twitter, a social network or a news media? Proceedings of the 19th international conference on World wide web, 591-600.
Kowalcyzk, K. (2017 May 28). Instagram user demographics in Kuwait-May 2017. NapoleonCat. Retrieved from https://napoleoncat.com/blog/author/k-kowalczyk/
Ko, H., Cho, C., & Roberts, M. (2005). Internet Uses and Gratifications: A Structural Equation Model of Interactive Advertising. Journal of advertising, 34(2), 57-70.
Lasswell, H. (1949). Power and Personality: The Analysis of Political Behaviour: An Empirical. The Yale Law Journal, 59 (1), 181-184.
Lister, M. (2018, October 17). 33 Mind-blogging Instagram stats and facts for 2018. Wordstream. Retrieved from https://www.wordstream.com/blog
Liu, I. L. B., Cheung, C. M. K., & Lee, M. K. O. (2010). Understanding Twitter usage: What drives people to continue to tweet. In PACIS 2010 Proceedings, Paper 92 (pp. 928–939).
Olufadi, Y. (2016). Social networking time use scale (SONTUS): A new instrument for measuring the time spent on social networking sites. Telematics and Informatics, 33(2), 452-471.
Papacharissi, Z. (2008). Uses and gratifications. In M. Salwen & D. Stacks (Eds.), Uses and gratifications: An integrated approach to communication theory and research (pp. 137–152). New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Piwek, L. & Joinson, A. (2016). What do they snapchat about?” Patterns of use in time-limited instant messaging service. Computers in human behavior, 54, 358-367.
Quan-Hasse, A., & and Alyson, Y. (2010).Uses and Gratifications of Social Media: A Comparison of Facebook and Instant Messaging. Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, 30 (5), 350-361.
Rashid, M. (2012, March 19). Twitter: Users in Kuwait top the world with 85 % penetration. Aljarida Newspaper Online. Retrieved from http://www.aljarida.com
Saleh, S. (2016, January 28). Kuwait tops the world in terms of Twitter use. Alnahar. Retrieved http://www.annaharkw.com/annahar/ArticlePrint.aspx?id=627923&mode=print
Sheldon, P., & Bryant, K. (2016). Instagram: Motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age. Computer in human behavior, 58, 89-97.
Sheikh, I. Elkasim, M., & Mustapha, L. (2017). University students’ intentions of smartphone adoption for acedemics activities: Testing an extended TAM model. Media Watch, 8(2). 208-221.
Sigerson, L., & Cheng, C. (2018). Scales for measuring user engagement with social network sites: A systematic review of psychometric properties. Computers in Human Behavior, 83, 87-105.
Stafford, T., Royne, M., & Schkade, L. (2004). Determining Uses and Gratifications for the Internet. Decision Sciences, 35(2), 259-288.
Statistic Brain. (2013). Twitter statistics. Retrieved from http://www.statisticbrain.com/ twitter-statistics
Urista, M. A., Dong, Q., & Day, K. (2009). Explaining why young adults use Myspace and Facebook through uses and gratifications theory. Human Communication, 12(2), 215-229.
Whiting, A., & Williams, D. (2013). Why people use social media: a uses and gratifications approach. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 16 (4), 362-369.
Walck, P. (2013). Social Communication in the Twitter Age. International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies, 3(2), 66-69.
Zúñiga, H, Jung, N., & Valenzuela, S. (2012). Social Media Use for News and Individuals’ Social Capital, Civic Engagement, and Political Participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 17( 3), 319–336.
Zephoria, (2018). The Top 10 Valuable Snapchat Statistics – Updated November 2018. Zephoria website. Retrieved from https://zephoria.com/top-10-valuable-snapchat-statistics/

Fatima Alsalem (Ph.D., Indiana University, USA, 2015) is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Kuwait University, where she is committed to supporting students and trying to boost tolerance and acceptance of others among Kuwaiti youth. Dr. Fatima has participated in the media tech camp by the United States Mission to the United Nations and State Department in New York, 2012 and the International Visiting Leadership Program (IVLP) sponsored by the State Department in the United States “Women Preventing Violent Extremism” in 2015. Dr. Alsalem has participated in Voices for Reason Program on Combating Terrorism by Hollings Center and the State Department in 2016.