Social break up: Why consumers hide and unlike brands on Facebook

Eun Sook Kwon, Eunice Kim, Yoo Jin Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


On social networking sites (SNSs), consumers often engage in break-up behaviours (i.e., 'hiding' brand posts and 'unliking' brand pages). These behaviours are the consumer's direct expression that he or she no longer wants to see brand posts or wants to end the relationship and the association with the brand. This study examines what drives consumers to hide brand posts and unlike brand pages on Facebook by reviewing the literature on advertising avoidance, consumer-brand relationship, and studies on SNSs as a means for self-expression (i.e., perceived information overload, attitude toward social media marketing, perceived brand detachment, and self- and social-identity expressiveness). Analysing responses from 354 research participants using Amazon Mechanical Turk who have ever liked a commercial brand, this study found that the intention to hide brand posts was strongly associated with the intention to unlike brand pages, and variables such as perceived information overload, attitude toward social media marketing, and perceived brand detachment significantly influenced consumers' break-up behaviours. Social-identity expressiveness only predicted the intention to unlike brands. Implications of the study's findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-317
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2018.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


  • Advertising avoidance
  • Attitude toward social media marketing
  • Identity expression
  • Perceived brand detachment
  • Perceived information overload


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