Christopher S.G. Khoo, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (email@example.com)
Background. Social media present a rich environment to study information behaviour, as much of the user interaction is recorded and stored in publicly accessible repositories and on personal devices.
Objectives. This paper surveys the literature of the past nine years on information behaviour related to social media, focusing on social networking sites and online discussion forums. It reviews the characteristics of social media users and use, the predominant types of information behaviour, and new types of information found in user-contributed content.
Results. Studies have found clear age, gender and national differences, and differences between local citizens and foreigners, in the frequency and purpose of social media use, the choice of social media sites, number of online friends, and types of information posted. Social media users typically share experiential and practical knowledge in the context of everyday life. Informational support provided by social media users is complemented with socio-emotional support. Predominant types of information behaviour include asking (i.e. request for information), answering with information, unsolicited information sharing, and information integration. Browsing and monitoring are important types of information seeking behaviour on social media. Users use a combination of information behaviours, information sources, and online as well as offline sources for information needs that are important to them.
Conclusion. Social media are evolving into important sources of information that complement traditional information sources. They provide an opportunity to study types of information behaviour related to human interaction, that are difficult to study in physical environments.
Cite: Khoo, C.S.G. (2014). Issues in information behaviour on social media. LIBRES, 24(2), 75-96.