Demystifying online personas of Vietnamese young adults on Facebook: A Q-methodology approach

Duy Dang-Pham, Siddhi Pittayachawan, Mathews Nkhoma


As online social networking sites (SNS) are becoming a part of many people’s daily life, they have become a topic of interest that attracts the attention of both academics and practitioners. The users’ behaviours on those sites are complex and have important implications. Individuals can use a wide range of SNS’s functionalities, for example, to socialise and promote their online identities or find friends of common interests. Reckless online behaviours on SNS have been shown to result in breaches of privacy and other risks such as cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, and job loss. As a result, there are many concerns over these problems that prevent SNS from reaching their full potential. Given the vast number of user’s concerns, identified by prior studies, there is a need to explore a typology of users that classifies online personas. This typology would reveal more about the users’ needs and help improve their experience on SNS. To achieve that goal, we collected data from fourteen Vietnamese young adults of different backgrounds who use Facebook, which was then analysed with Q factor analysis. The findings suggested three distinctive online personas that include the Outgoing Connector, the Reserved Trustor, and the Threats Perceiver. Implications for marketing tactics and design of better users’ experiences on social networking sites were discussed, and the proposed typology could serve as a starting point for future research to further explore the different types of social media’s users.


Facebook; social networking site; Q methodology; online identity; online privacy; information behaviour

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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