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A Qualitative Analysis of How and Why People Use Social Network Sites: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Korea and the U.S.
Unformatted Document Text:  6 acceleration had been taking place throughout the year; from May to July, South Korea‘s Facebook membership more than doubled to 1,108,840 users (see Figure 1, Inside Facebook Gold, July 2010). Insert Figure 1 Here Even though such US-based SNSs (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have successfully entered the global market, the question remains as to whether the US-based SNSs can overcome the resistance of native social networks. In Korea, for instance, there are a number of strong, local SNSs, led by Cyworld, which itself failed to cross over to the United States, and depending on why South Korea‘s users are using the sites, it may be possible for Facebook to coexist with Cyworld and others. According to the study of Singh et al. (2010), while there are emerging similarities in social media usage, countries still show unique local preferences in terms of how they use social media for business and personal use. Also, it is evident that Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter usage is not uniform across the world. Their results indicated that there are significant differences in terms of cross-national preference for these social media platforms. Moreover, it is also evident that country-specific social media platforms are widely used, even over the global giants like Facebook, Twitter and others (Singh, Lehnert & Bostick, 2010). Cultural Difference: Two Construals of the Self To examine the cross-cultural difference for using SNSs, this study compares two different national cultures (Korea vs. U.S.) reflected on SNSs. The role of culture in communication has been frequently studied through the comparison of two prototype cultures – individualism vs.

Authors: Yoo, Jinnie.
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acceleration had been taking place throughout the year; from May to July, South Korea‘s 
Facebook membership more than doubled to 1,108,840 users (see Figure 1, Inside Facebook 
Gold, July 2010).  
Insert Figure 1 Here 
 
Even though such US-based SNSs (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have successfully entered 
the global market, the question remains as to whether the US-based SNSs can overcome the 
resistance of native social networks. In Korea, for instance, there are a number of strong, local 
SNSs, led by Cyworld, which itself failed to cross over to the United States, and depending on 
why South Korea‘s users are using the sites, it may be possible for Facebook to coexist with 
Cyworld and others.  
According to the study of Singh et al. (2010), while there are emerging similarities in social 
media usage, countries still show unique local preferences in terms of how they use social media 
for business and personal use. Also, it is evident that Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter 
usage is not uniform across the world. Their results indicated that there are significant 
differences in terms of cross-national preference for these social media platforms. Moreover, it is 
also evident that country-specific social media platforms are widely used, even over the global 
giants like Facebook, Twitter and others (Singh, Lehnert & Bostick, 2010). 
 
Cultural Difference: Two Construals of the Self 
To examine the cross-cultural difference for using SNSs, this study compares two different 
national cultures (Korea vs. U.S.) reflected on SNSs. The role of culture in communication has 
been frequently studied through the comparison of two prototype cultures – individualism vs. 


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