Methodologies used to explore the online support seeking behaviours, through Facebook, of Smartphone running app users

  • K Pickering
  • A Pringle
  • J McKenna


Clearly defined methodologies employed during Facebook research projects is lacking. This is problematic with a continual rise in Facebook research studies being published. Transparent methodologies will enhance future protocols and help to shape research practices when using Facebook as a research tool. As Facebook appears to provide an environment that fosters social support when adopting healthier behaviours, understanding best practice evaluation approaches of the site will help shape public health research agendas. Resultantly this paper presents the methods applied in a qualitative analysis of online support seeking communications of a group of running app users, actively engaging in Facebook groups related to the app. Strengths and limitations of utilising Facebook for research are addressed and points for consideration prior to undertaking Facebook research are presented.