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Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier!

Usage de Facebook et satisfaction : les Likes font-ils notre bonheur ?
Alexandre Mayol and Thierry Pénard
p. 101-127


This article aims to study how Facebook use influences individual well-being. We conducted a survey on a representative sample of 2,000 French Facebook users. Our results showed that Facebook interferes with subjective well-being through its effects on friendships, self-esteem and social comparison. Hence, we found a positive relationship between receiving a large number of “Likes” and comments from Facebook friends and level of life satisfaction. In contrast, people that did not receive as many “Likes” as they hoped for tended to be more unsatisfied with their life. The latter result suggests that Facebook use can exacerbate frustration and envy. Our findings underline the ambivalence of Facebook use—which has both positive and negative psychological effects on well-being—and raise questions about the viability of Facebook if it cannot satisfy all of its users.

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Full-text article available to subscribers or on a "pay per view" basis. It will be available on this URL in January 2021.
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1. Introduction
2. Literature review and research hypotheses
2.1. Relationship between Internet use and well-being
2.2. Relationship between social network sites and life satisfaction
2.3. Hypotheses
3. Data and methodology
3.1. Description of data
3.2. Dependent variable
3.3. Independent variables
3.4. The econometric model
4. Results
5. Conclusion

First lines

1. Introduction

Social network sites (SNS) like Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, have built their business models around the monetization of users data. They collect large amounts of data related to their users’ profiles and behaviors and convert this data into valuable services (recommendation, matchmaking, targeted advertising, etc.). These data-based business models are innovative, but challenging. Digital markets are characterized by a rapid pace of innovation and surmountable barriers to entry. Even the most dominant SNSs are not protected from competition or new entrants (Evans, 2017). Moreover, users’ needs are difficult to anticipate and satisfy. Individuals typically use more than one social network site (multi-homing) and can easily switch from a social network to another when they distrust the service or find better services elsewhere. For example, the social network MySpace was previously dominant but collapsed within a few years of Facebook entering the market, ...

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Bibliographical reference

Alexandre Mayol and Thierry Pénard, « Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier! », Revue d'économie industrielle, 158 | 2017, 101-127.

Electronic reference

Alexandre Mayol and Thierry Pénard, « Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier! », Revue d'économie industrielle [Online], 158 | 2e trimestre 2017, Online since 15 June 2019, connection on 17 December 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/rei.6570

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About the authors

Alexandre Mayol

PSE, Université de Paris 1

Thierry Pénard

CREM, Université de Rennes 1 & M@rsouin

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© Revue d’économie industrielle

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