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Abstract

Drawing on the concept of social capital, this study examines the impact of usage intensity, status motivations, and intimate public self-disclosure on Facebook users’ informational access and feelings of general social support. Survey data collected from a random sample of undergraduate Facebook users (n=583) were used to test several hypotheses predicting perceptions of bridging social capital. A multivariate ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model revealed significant positive associations between both Facebook usage intensity and status motivations, and perceptions of bridging social capital, while no significant relationships were found between various forms of intimate self-disclosure in public channels and perceptions of bridging. The findings of this study suggest that strict standards of information sharing exist on Facebook and that users selectively disclose personal information in order to adhere to these norms, supporting the view of social networking sites as diverse online communities that better facilitate the formation and maintenance of casual relationships rather than strong connections among users.

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