Underpinnings of Digital-photo interaction in Computer-mediated platforms

Aqdas Malik

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Despite the growing popularity of digital photos in a number computer-mediated platforms, various pertinent issues remain less researched. Exploring and identifying relevant issues can help the researchers and designers understand "how and why SNS users interact with photos" on these platforms. In addition to this, the proposed investigations can be useful in refining the existing photos related features and solutions as well as developing new ones. The present dissertation focuses largely on photo-sharing and photo-tagging activities, which constitute integral elements of digital-photo interaction in numerous computer-mediated platforms. This dissertation is based on five empirical research articles investigating the different latent factors that motivate and hinder the process of digital-photo interaction in computer-mediated platforms. Study I examine the current practices surrounding digital photos in the context of personal photo repositories (N=15). Study II investigates the gratifications and impeding factors associated with photo-tagging activity on Facebook (N=67). Study III develops and tests an instrument for understanding the gratifications of Facebook photo-sharing (N=368). Study IV examines the impact of various aspects of privacy in relation to photo-sharing intentions on Facebook (N=378). Finally, study V investigates the age and gender differences regarding various aspects of privacy and trust in the context of photo-sharing activity on Facebook (N=378). The dissertation reveals the following findings: First, lack of "social features" is one of the essential reasons for non-acceptance of tagging feature in standalone photo management applications (Study I). Second, photo-sharing and photo-tagging adoption and popularity can be attributed to various factors such as affection, attention, communication, disclosure, habit, information sharing, self-expression, socialization, and social influence (Study II, III). Third, age, gender, and activity influence photo-sharing and photo-tagging gratifications (Study II, III). Fourth, in the context of Facebook photo-sharing, various aspects of privacy significantly impact users trust and activity and consequently photo-sharing intentions (Study IV). Fifth, women and young Facebook users are significantly more concerned about the privacy of their shared photos (Study V). Sixth, privacy-protective measures are significantly exercised more by young Facebook users, yet they exhibit more trust and a higher level of activity on Facebook (Study V). Overall, this dissertation work contributes to the existing theoretical and practical knowledge on activities associated with digital photos in computer-mediated platforms. Dissertation findings can be utilized by scholars engaged in researching computer-mediated communication, new media, privacy, and SNS behaviors.
Translated title of the contributionDigitaaliset valokuvat vuorovaikutuksen välineenä sosiaalisessa mediassa
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Nieminen, Marko, Supervising Professor
  • Dhir, Amandeep, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6840-4
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6841-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • digital photos
  • photo sharing
  • photo tagging
  • computer-mediated communication
  • social networking sites
  • facebook
  • privacy

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