According to the Pew Research center, the majority of adults on the internet have more than one social networking profile on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Although the core purpose of these sites are similar – to digitally connect with peers and loved ones – new research conducted by researchers in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and King’s College in London, England, found users often adopt different personas unique to each social network.

The research team, co-led by Penn State’s Dongwon Lee, associate professor of IST, and Nishanth Sastry, senior lecturer of King’s College, theorized that these different personas stem from a desire to fit within the distinctive culture or etiquette of each site. For instance, a photo of someone’s colorful Starbucks drink may be popular on Instagram, but the same image post to LinkedIn would be frowned upon. Lee explained, “The users tend to portray themselves differently in these different worlds.”

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