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Why Do We Like Things on Social Media? The Science Behind It

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Why Do We Like Things on Social Media? The Science Behind It

Why Do We Like Things on Social Media? The Science Behind It

Do you ever wonder why you like some things on social media more than others? Why do we share some things, but not others? It turns out that there is a science behind it all – and understanding it can help you create content that is more likely to be liked and shared. In this blog post, we will explore the psychology of social media sharing, and discuss some tips for creating content that people will love!

One of the most important factors that determines whether or not someone will share something on social media is how much they identify with it. In other words, people are more likely to share content if they feel like it represents them and their beliefs. For this reason, it’s important to consider your target audience when creating content, and make

In the world of social media, there are many ways to express an opinion about a post. One way is with the Like button on Facebook and other platforms like Instagram or Twitter where you can click ‘Like’ for any update that interests you without having too much information available at first glance since it will show up in your feed later when they publish new content (or maybe even just spam).

The number of likes given helps determine how popular something might be viewed amongst others who use these sites so this provides some insight into whether someone likes what we’re sharing – which then opens up more possibilities!

Why do users hit the Like Button?

We all like to show our appreciation for others or posts on social media, but why do people act liking when they click the button? Sun et al. (2016) found that emotion is behind this behavior as well. They discovered there are two types of emotions: positive and negative ones which can influence users’ Liking behaviors depending upon how you feel inside!

A study done by Gan 2017 also reveals an interesting finding about these clicks – People often Like their favorite content because it makes them happy; thus giving more weightage towards those who provides us with enjoyable experiences rather than just informative material

Frontiersin Study

In this study from Frontiersin research on WeChat and social media, it was found that users click “like” to enhance their guanxi with others.

Guanxi- Guanxi is a term used in Chinese culture to describe an individual’s social network of mutually beneficial personal and business relationships.

The expected guanxi also acts as an affective cue that may influence positive emotions. Previous research indicates people will feel positivity about a behavior when they can enjoy the benefits of it themselves, which makes sense because we’re hardwired for reciprocity and social connection!

AAAI Study

This study from AAAI gives us a better understanding of why people click like on posts. The questionnaire was completed by 341 participants, 310 who passed the primary attention check (52% female). A lot more than half were UK based at 32%. In addition to this we have Germany where 18 percent reside and then US with 17%.

The participants were asked to briefly describe their reasoning behind clicking the like button. They were also surveyed on how often they click likes, if there is anything else affecting them when deciding whether or not it’s worth clicking a Like.


Motives- Content or Poster, Motivation, and Personality


“Liked this post because of its content (e.g. find the post funny, interesting, relatable, etc.)” was chosen 78% of time while “Liked this post mainly because many other people Liked it.” 16% of the time. The 3 factors behind the motive of like the post, literal interpretation, relational motives, and social motives. Literal interpretation was the highest-rated motive while social motives reached the lowest score.

The deliberateness of action was not associated with any of the motives.

Relationship with poster

The results of this study show that the closer participants felt to another user, the more likely they were not just Like his/her post because it contained relatable content or social motives. Instead what we found is there was an association between liking someone else’s post out-of relational desire (such as wanting maintain a relationship) versus simply reacting from curiosity about something somebody shared with them.”


Need to belong was associated with liking for the sake of relational maintenance. Individuals who have a high need to maintain their relationships will seek out content that is liked and adheres strictly societal norms. However, neither self-esteem nor the level of deliberation was related to how people liked content.

AAAI finds evidence for different motives to Like content on Facebook.

People use the Like button in many different ways. Our further results show that people like posts to show support and appreciation for others, as well at maintaining relationships with those they know or are strangers too.

The three distinct factors that emerged from these separate motives were content based liking (literal interpretation), relational behaviors such as acknowledgment and expressing support.

Using an analytical design, we were able to explore how people Liked posts. We found that there is a meaningful relationship between what motives them as well as the type and valence of content in each individual’s Like history – but only when it comes down to personality-driven liking versus simply recognizing someone’s identity.

In conclusion, social media gives us the ability to connect with people we know and complete strangers. We like things on social media for different reasons and this study was able to identify some of those reasons. It’s important to understand why we Like things so that we can better ourselves as social media users. Thanks for reading!


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