Research on social networking sites like Facebook is emerging but sparse. This exploratory study investigates the value users derive from self-described ‘cool’ Facebook applications, and explores the features that either encourage or discourage users to recommend applications to their friends. The concepts of value and cool are explored in a social networking context. Our qualitative data reveals consumers derive a combination of functional value along with either social or emotional value from the applications. Female Facebook users indicate self-expression as important motivators, while males tend to use Facebook applications to socially compete. Three broad categories emerged for application features; symmetrical features can both encourage or discourage recommendation, polar features where different levels of the same feature encourage or discourage, and uni-directional features only encourage or discourage but not both. Recommending or not recommending an application tends to be the result of a combination of features and context, rather than one feature in isolation
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