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6 October 2016

Snapchat Provokes More Jealousy in Romantic Relationship Than Facebook

Keywords: media, popularity, self-esteem, survey, mobile, mobile phone, social media, young adults, youth communication,

Snapchat allows users to send picture messages and videos that dissolve after a few seconds. This way the app offers the opportunity for more intimate information sharing than other social media. According to a study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Snapchat is more often used for flirting and finding new love than Facebook. The study also shows that Snapchat provokes more jealousy within romantic relationships than Facebook. 

Take aways

  • Snapchat seems to be more private than Facebook, with users having much less friends on Snapchat.
  • Snapchat is used more for flirting and finding new love interests than Facebook.
  • Facebook is more often used for keeping in touch with friends than Snapchat. 
  • Snapchat provokes more jealousy within relationships than Facebook.

Study information

  • The question?

    Do young adults’ motives for using Snapchat and Facebook differ, and how do these social media relate to jealousy within romantic relationships?

  • Who?

    77 young adults (mean age: 22 years; 23% were male)

  • Where?

    All over the world

  • How?

    Active Snapchat users who also use Facebook were recruited through posts on social media sites. The participants filled out an online survey containing questions about their demographics, Facebook and Snapchat use, and their motivations to use these social media sites. Additionally, the participants answered questions about Snapchat and Facebook jealousy, need for popularity and self-esteem.

Facts and findings

  • Young adults logged into Snapchat less frequently (ranging from several times a week to daily) than Facebook (ranging from daily to several times a day).
  • They reported having less friends on Snapchat (mean number of friends: 32) than on Facebook (mean number of friends: 483). 
  • Almost all Snapchat users sent snaps (i.e., photo messages) of funny things.
    • 85% of the participants reported sending selfies or “what I am up to” snaps.
    • Half of the snaps (50–60%) were photos of events, food, other people, animals, or drinking.
  • Only 19% of the Snapchat users engaged in joke sexting, 13% in real sexting, and 14.3% in sending snaps of legally questionable activities.
  • The top-3 motives for Snapchat and Facebook use were:
    • Distraction or procrastination
    • Keeping in touch with friends and family
    • Seeing what people are up to
  • Respondents scored higher on almost all Facebook motives compared to Snapchat; except for flirting and finding new love interests, which was a more important motive for using Snapchat.
  • Snapchat provoked more jealousy within relationships than Facebook; participants felt the most jealous when their partner added or snapped an ex boyfriend or girlfriend or an unknown person of the opposite sex. 
  • Young adults with a high need for popularity experienced more jealousy on both Facebook and Snapchat than those with a low need for popularity. 
  • Critical note: This study does not allow for any conclusions about cause (Snapchat and Facebook use) and effect (romantic jealousy). The results only show that Snapchat and Facebook use are associated with jealousy within romantic relationships.