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1.1 Background to the Study

Access to social media platforms has intensified the impacts of globalization, and societies are networking and connecting globally. Social media exacerbates and strengthens the impacts of interrelation by exceeding all geographical boundaries (Lievroux, 2011).

The advent of social media has brought several possibilities for information exchange and communication between individuals and publics on various spheres of human endeavors. It is a tool through which an individual to communicate with other people all over the world about an organization, product or service. Internet-based social media has been around for a very long time.


The word ‘social’ means exchange of thoughts and ideas among parties, individuals and the groups as members of the society. Media is a system of communication and interaction between peoples of different thoughts and views. While social media is the interaction among people which they create, share, and or exchange information and ideas in several communities and networks. It allows creation and exchange. The difference between social media and traditional media lies in the quality, frequency, reach, accessibility, usability, immediacy and performance.

Social media has offered important potential opportunities for advertising. Social media has attracted a large number of users. Individuals could actively engage in many-to-many communication; exchange ideas, post updates, share comments, rate services and access links to shopping sites.


Advertising on social media is cheaper, suited to viral marketing, and permit a customized targeting based on user interests (Jung, et al., 2016). Advertising in Social media platform is prosperous (Knoll, 2016). In this context, companies look for best practices on how to achieve more effective online advertising strategies and use social media as a major advertising medium (Muñoz-Leiva, Hernández-Méndez, and Gómez-Carmona, 2019).


Despite a growing body of research examining social media advertising. (Balakrishnan and Manickavasagam, 2016, Belanche, Flavián, and Pérez-Rueda, 2017; Tran, 2017; Reich, Gavilanes, and Flatten, 2015; Dao, Le, Cheng, and Chen, 2015; Jung, et al., 2016). It is still a challenge to determine what makes social media advertising efficient (Knoll, 2016).

Little wonder, Chiakwelu (2015) notes that when it comes to western media, the prevailing norm in Nigeria and Africa is that “whatever emanates from the BBC is nothing but the truth.” The modern communication technologies are responsible for the availability of the avalanche of the channels of information.  The  social  media  also  known  as  the  social networking  sites  are  part  of  the  latest  means  of  interaction  which  the  modern  technologies  bequeathed  to  this century and its people. They are redefining the processes, patterns and sources of human communication in the world presently.

The growth in the use of the social media has been astronomical unlike the case of other prior means of communication  before  the  emergence  of  the  new  communication  technologies  of  today.  Awake!  (2011,  p.24) buttresses  this  point  by  noting  that  “social  networking  has  become  hugely  popular.



The social networking site Facebook gained 200 million users in one 12-month period!”. This was a milestone in audience coverage which none of the earlier invented medium of public communication ever came close to.  Awake! further explains the length of time radio, television and the internet took to reach their reasonable number of audience in millions. “It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users. 13 years for television to attract the same number, and 4 years for the Internet to do so,” (Awake, 2011).


Perhaps the reason for the unprecedented growth in the spread of the social media among the people is because  they  are  communication  technologies  which  enable  their  users  to  be  producers  as  well  as  receivers  of information. That  upgrading  of  the  status  of  media  audiences  from  being  largely  content  consumers  to  being actively content producers or contributors is a feature that distinguishes the social media from the conventional mass  media.

The  latter  has  been  promoting  hegemony  in  media  content  production  and  distribution. While  the former  (social  media)  emerged  and  democratized  the  whole  processes  empowering  virtually  every  person  to participate in public communication process. The residents perception on the credibility of news on social media advertisements.

Presently, the social media are unimaginably popular in the hands of their teeming users. Notwithstanding the point  that  they  empower  and  encourage  amateurs  to  generate  and  distribute  the  contents  of  public communication. With this current trend, almost everybody could lay wager that he or she is a reporter hence they have the enabling technologies.


With  the  prevailing  practices  which  the  social  media  ushered  into  modern  journalism,  many  ethical canons of the profession are often partly or entirely not observed by the users of the new media who are reporters sans journalistic trainings. Similarly, in most countries of the globe the legal frameworks guiding journalism as a profession might have no bearing on the social media-made reporters who report events just like the journalists attached  to  mass  media  institutions  known  and  legally  recognized  in  a  nation.


Based on the exigencies of the forgoing. It therefore becomes imperative to ascertain the views of the people  with  regard  to  the  credibility  of  the  social  media. Thus, which  many  rely  on  them  for  sending  and  receiving messages or information. This is highly expedient as mass media organizations, advertisers and other corporate entities patronize the social media channels like individual persons.  Meanwhile sometimes many a person cry foul that the information the audience received from the social media site about them is either completely false or a doctored version of an event or an issue.


In the contemporary age, there are numerous social media sites available for usage among Nigerians of all classes. Many other new ones spring up, so it may not be tenable for one to know exactly all the social media channels used by Nigerians currently. This prevalence and continuous emergence of the social media sites make it  very  difficult.  If  not  entirely  impossible  for  one  study  to  cover  all  the  social  media  networks  available  to Nigerians  in  the  country  now. Therefore,  in  this  paper,  we  delineate  the  social  media  to  include:  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Twitter.


1.2 Statement of the problem

Various studies have been conducted on measuring advertising value and its impact on attitudes towards different forms of advertising like traditional or modern forms. But the topic of social media advertising is still at its inception and also ‘an ever-evolving area’. The social media are increasing in both usage and coverage scope across the globe. They are gradually becoming  the  dominant  means  of  keeping  in  touch  with  one  another  as  well  as  the  major  channels  of  public communication of this era.

Both individuals and the corporate organizations make use of the social networking sites for their distinct communication purposes. These new means of interactions are expanding the frontiers of reception as well as dissemination of information and communication all over the world. The residents perception on the credibility of news on social media advertisements.


No wonder, in spite of  their  numbers  and  even  the  ones  springing  up,  more  users  connect  to  the  social  media  regularly.

However, with the popularity which the social media sites have attained. It is paradoxical to see some Nigerians express utter denial of some of the messages divulged through some of the new media channels.

Thus, the  problem  is,  with  the  scenario  described  above,  are  the  social  media  credible  channels  of  communication among  their  Uyo residents  users?  Which  of  the  social  media  site  is  more  credible  among  Uyo residents?  Are there contents of the social media which are often considered as not credible by the users? These outlined points form the problems which this research has systematically found answers to.


1.3 Research objectives

The following are the objectives guiding this study:

  1. To ascertain whether the social media are credible sources of communication among Nigerians.
  2. To find out whether there are social media platforms that are more considered credible by the people.

3.To ascertain the contents of the social media which the people often classify as not credible.


1.4 Research Question         

The following are the research questions which this study has found answers to:

  1. Are the social media credible as sources of breaking news stories in Uyo?
  2. Which of the available social media sites is more credible among Uyo users?
  3. Are there contents of the social media often considered as not credible by their users?


1.5       Research Hypotheses

the following Null and Alternate hypotheses were postulated to direct the researcher in this study:


Hypothesis 1

Ho:       There are no social media credible sources of breaking news stories in Uyo

H1:       There are social media credible sources of breaking news stories in Uyo


Hypothesis 2

Ho:       There are no social media platforms that are more credible than others

H2:       There are social media platforms that are more credible than others


Hypothesis 3

Ho:       Are there no contents of the social media often considered as not credible by their users

H:        Are there contents of the social media often considered as not credible by their users


1.6 Significance of Study

A study of this magnitude will be of immense benefits to different people in different fields. This is because, virtually all sectors of humans uses the internet. It has no limitation. However, this research is a communication work and by this implication. Therefore, those that will greatly benefit from this research are those in the academic environment. It will further strengthen their horizon on the teaching of social media, particularly to the media student.

The media industry on who this entire work borders on, it will make them to be more credible and objective in their reportage both in the print and electronic medium.

The government and policy makers will also benefit immensely from this research findings. This is because it will make the government to step in and regulate the environment and communication sector. Especially, in the area of the internet. This will help to reduce careless and shameless speeches being posted online.

People tend to believe what they read online and this will form their action. The society is tackling serious security challenges and most people action been hostile to the government is as a result of what they read online.

Finally, this work will add to the already existing literature in the field thereby acquainting readers with the basic knowledge of the social media benefits and inherent flaws thereto in news consumption.


1.7       Scope of the Study

This study is delimited in scope to perception of Uyo residents on credibility of social media advertisements. It is on this note that the researcher limited the scope of this study to residents of Uyo metropolis. Also, not all the social media platforms as sources of breaking news stories were studied. As notable ones such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Gmail, Yahoomail, YouTube, were studied.

1.8       Limitation of the Study

Financial constraint was the major limitation which hampered the effective movement of the researcher during data acquisition, lack of references materials which would have assisted the research in completing the research work in time.

1.9       Definitions of Terms

Perception: Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information or environment.

Credibility: This implies truthfulness of news stories.

Audience: This means the numerical and physical representation of a given population of the people living in a geographical area.

The Audience applicable in this study here are those who make use of the social media for sourcing for news stories. The audiences are also those samples in the course of this study. The Audience here is residence of Uyo metropolis.


Social Media: E.g. Facebook, YouTube etc. this is a group of internet based applications that build an ideological and technological foundation of web 2.0 and that allow creation and exchange of user generated content. It is a social platform that enables users to exchange ideas and information. The residents perception on the credibility of news on social media advertisements.

Internet: This is a global network connecting millions of computer. No one actually owns the internet, and no single person or organization controls the internet in its entirety. The internet here is more of a concept than an actual tangible entity. Thus, it relies on physical infrastructure that connects network to other network.



In  the  present  time,  social  media  sites  are  being  used  exceedingly  by  good  number  of  Nigerians  of distinct status and categories. The youths, the adults as well as the male and the female constituents of the country have been documented to be involved. Due to the tremendous increase in the uses of the sites. The researchers deemed it worthwhile to examine the credibility of the new means of communication. That becomes imperative to  fathom  the  rate  of  credibility  of  each  of  the  selected  social  media  among  their  Nigerian  users.


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Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email:

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