Social networking sites (SNSs) have become an essential part of people’s lives. It is thus crucial to understand how individuals use these platforms. Previous literature has divided usage into numerous activities and then grouped them into dimensions to avoid excessive granularity. However, these categories have not been derived from a uniform theoretical background; consequently, these dimensions are dispersed, overlapping, and disconnected from each other. This study argues that “SNS usage” is a complex phenomenon consisting of multiple activities that can be grouped into dimensions under the umbrella of communication theories and these dimensions are related to each other in a particular multi-dimensional architecture. “SNS usage” is conceptualized as a third-order construct formed by “producing,” “consuming,” and “communicating.” “Producing,” in turn, is proposed as a second-order construct manifested by “commenting,” “general information sharing,” and “self-disclosure.” The proposed model was assessed with data collected from 414 USA adult users and PLS-SEM technique. The results show empirical support for the theorized model. SNS providers now have this architecture that clarifies the role of each dimension of use, which will allow them to design effective strategies to encourage the use of these networks.
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