Research Article

Cross-Border Connectivity through Social Network Sites

Received: 2013-03-22 Accepted: 2013-01-22 Published: 2014-02-22



The increasing popularity of Social Network Sites (SNSs), and especially the international success of Facebook, raises questions about a possible connectivity between SNS users from different cultural or national backgrounds. Whereas recent research mostly considers connectivity in terms of a direct connection between users via their personal networks in SNSs, this paper proposes a multidimensional and multifaceted model of possible connectivity that takes into account various forms of direct and indirect connectivity through SNSs. Based on focus group interviews and a large-scale survey of German, Estonian and Russian-Estonian SNS users, this paper presents the results in terms of the characteristics of the various suggested features of connectivity, that is, cross-border success of SNSs; cross-border standardization of SNSs; cross-border contacts; and cross-border distribution of online content via SNSs. The results demonstrate varying degrees of cross-border connectivity both for different connectivity features and for different user groups.


Keywords: Social network sites, connectivity, culture, SNS users, standardization, viral effects


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