Gone for Better or for Worse? Exploring the Dual Nature of Ephemerality on Social Media Platforms

Tina Morlok, Ioanna Constantiou, Thomas Hess

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


The implementation of functionalities inspired by ephemerality represents a new and promising direction for social media platform providers to ensure active user participation. Social media platforms that already rely on ephemerality show increased activity rates. However, ephemerality represents a whole new principle in the social media context; and its impact on user perceptions and behaviours has hardly been explored. Building on an exploratory research approach, we seek to develop an indepth understanding of how and why perceived ephemerality affects user behaviour. Based on 37 interviews with users of ephemerality-based platforms and drawing on a thematic analysis, we depict the promising nature of ephemerality by revealing its positive impact on user behaviour, such as an increase in users’ willingness to share information. We found that users’ control perceptions help to explain this positive relationship. However, and contrary to existing knowledge, we found that, in specific conditions, perceived ephemerality can negatively affect user behaviour. This adverse effect can be explained by users’ loss perceptions as an underlying cognitive mechanism. From a practical perspective, our findings highlight the need to keep the delicate balance of potential upsides and downsides of ephemerality when implementing functionalities.
TitelECIS 2018 Proceedings
Antal sider16
UdgivelsesstedAtlanta, GA
ForlagAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
StatusUdgivet - 2018
BegivenhedThe 26th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2018: Beyond Digitization – Facets of Socio-Technical Change - University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Storbritannien
Varighed: 23 jun. 201828 jun. 2018
Konferencens nummer: 26


KonferenceThe 26th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2018
LokationUniversity of Portsmouth
NavnProceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems


  • Ephemerality
  • Ephemerality-based platforms
  • Control perceptions
  • Loss perceptions
  • User behaviour
  • Information privacy