Below are the 50 best social media research articles that have been determined as a group. Vote up or down your favorite articles.
Social media comprises communication websites that facilitate relationship forming between users from diverse backgrounds, resulting in a rich social structure. User generated content encourages inquiry and decision-making. Given the relevance of social media to various stakeholders, it has received significant attention from researchers of various fields, including information systems. There exists no comprehensive review that integrates and synthesizes the findings of literature on social media. This study discusses the findings of 132 papers (in selected IS journals) on social media and social networking published between 1997 and 2017. Most papers reviewed here examine the behavioral side of social media, investigate the aspect of reviews and recommendations, and study its integration for organizational purposes. Furthermore, many studies have investigated the viability of online communities/social media as a marketing medium, while others have explored various aspects of social media, including the risks associated with its use, the value that it creates, and the negative stigma attached to it within workplaces. The use of social media for information sharing during critical events as well as for seeking and/or rendering help has also been investigated in prior research. Other contexts include political and public administration, and the comparison between traditional and social media. Overall, our study identifies multiple emergent themes in the existing corpus, thereby furthering our understanding of advances in social media research. The integrated view of the extant literature that our study presents can help avoid duplication by future researchers, whilst offering fruitful lines of inquiry to help shape research for this emerging field.
Political parties’ interaction strategy and practice on Facebook is the topic of this article. Political parties and individual politicians can use social media to bypass media and communicate directly with voters through websites and particularly social media platforms such as Facebook. But previous research has demonstrated that interaction on social media is challenging for political parties. This study examines the disparity between interaction strategy and online responsiveness and finds that political parties identify three clear disadvantages when communicating with voters online: online reputation risk, negative media attention, and limited resources. In addition, the authenticity requirement many parties adhere to is creating a “social media interaction deadlock,” which is increasing the disparity between the parties’ expressed strategy and online performance. This study compares major and minor political parties’ interaction strategy during the 2013 national election in Norway and combines interviews of political communication directors with an innovative method to collect Facebook interaction data.
Context collapse, or the flattening of multiple audiences into a single context, has been an important notion in research on privacy experiences, self-performance, and changing user practices in social media. Yet, previous research has mainly addressed context collapse in spatial rather than temporal terms. The resulting lack of an understanding of time in social media limits our conception of the social media context. The aim of this article is therefore to go beyond the spatial dimension in the current notion of “context collapse” in social media. We discuss relevant theories, empirical evidence, and technical features that address the importance of a time dimension and suggest a collapse of temporal patterns in social media. By introducing the concept of “time collapse,” we account for how context in social media may muddle the time boundary between past and present, which, in turn, can affect how users manage their identity and performance on social media. Whereas research on social media has commonly addressed self-performance and impression management, we understand self-identity as an entity in progress. We analyze the results of two empirical case studies to suggest how and why a collapse of time related to self-performance is becoming increasingly prevalent, focusing on young people and Facebook. Our analyses contribute to a new understanding of time and the prolonged self-documenting practices typical of social media. Our research offers a unique understanding of the nature and conceptualization of time that may guide future directions in the study of social media and their implications for young people.
The new media environment is dynamic and continues to develop in novel, sometimes unanticipated, ways that have serious consequences for democratic governance and politics. New media have radically altered the way that government institutions operate, the way that political leaders communicate, the manner in which elections are contested, and citizen engagement. This chapter will briefly address the evolution of new media, before examining in greater detail their role in and consequences for political life.
Social Media + Society is an open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal that focuses on the socio-cultural, political, psychological, historical, economic, legal and policy dimensions of social media in societies past, contemporary and future. We publish interdisciplinary work that draws from the social sciences, humanities and computational social sciences, reaches out to the arts and natural sciences, and we endorse mixed methods and methodologies. The journal is open to a diversity of theoretic paradigms and methodologies.https://www.scimagojr.com/journalsearch.php?q=21100837352&tip=sid&clean=0
The introduction of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram has single handily changed society and altered the way we view ourselves and other people.
Take a walk down any high street and around 70% of people will be on mobile devices or will be clutching one as if it was a newborn child, leading experts to have serious concerns about the overall effect that Facebook and other social media platforms are having on our lives.
However, before we begin slamming social media and casting judgement we should outline both the advantages and disadvantages of social media below:
The social impact of research has usually been analysed through the scientific outcomes produced under the auspices of the research. The growth of scholarly content in social media and the use of altmetrics by researchers to track their work facilitate the advancement in evaluating the impact of research. However, there is a gap in the identification of evidence of the social impact in terms of what citizens are sharing on their social media platforms. This article applies a social impact in social media methodology (SISM) to identify quantitative and qualitative evidence of the potential or real social impact of research shared on social media, specifically on Twitter and Facebook. We define the social impact coverage ratio (SICOR) to identify the percentage of tweets and Facebook posts providing information about potential or actual social impact in relation to the total amount of social media data found related to specific research projects. We selected 10 projects in different fields of knowledge to calculate the SICOR, and the results indicate that 0.43% of the tweets and Facebook posts collected provide linkages with information about social impact. However, our analysis indicates that some projects have a high percentage (4.98%) and others have no evidence of social impact shared in social media. Examples of quantitative and qualitative evidence of social impact are provided to illustrate these results. A general finding is that novel evidences of social impact of research can be found in social media, becoming relevant platforms for scientists to spread quantitative and qualitative evidence of social impact in social media to capture the interest of citizens. Thus, social media users are showed to be intermediaries making visible and assessing evidence of social impact.
There’s never a shortage of fascinating scholarship in the digital news/social media space. This year, we’re spotlighting 10 of the most compelling academic articles and reports published in 2017, which delve into meaty topics such as venture-backed startups, artificial intelligence, personal branding and the spread of disinformation. We conferred with a small group of scholars to pick the ones we think you’ll want to know about — and remember, this is just a sample. A big thank you to everybody who contributed suggestions on Twitter.
The perception of political disagreement is more prevalent on social media than it is in face-to-face communication, and it may be associated with negative affect toward others. This research investigates the relationship between interpersonal evaluations (i.e., perceived similarity, liking, and closeness) and perceived political disagreement in social media versus face-to-face settings. Relying on a representative survey of adult internet users in the United States (N = 489), the study first examines the differences between social media and face-to-face settings in terms of interpersonal evaluations and relates them to parallel differences in perceived disagreement. Results are discussed in light of important, ongoing scholarly conversations about political disagreement, tolerance toward the other side in politics, and the “affective turn” in public communication about politics.
This article explores the ways in which the concept of privacy is understood in the context of social media and with regard to users’ awareness of privacy policies and laws in the ‘Post-Snowden’ era. In the light of presumably increased public exposure to privacy debates, generated partly due to the European “Right to be Forgotten” ruling and the Snowden revelations on mass surveillance, this article explores users’ meaning-making of privacy as a matter of legal dimension in terms of its violations and threats online and users’ ways of negotiating their Internet use, in particular social networking sites. Drawing on the concept of legal consciousness, this article explores through focus group interviews the ways in which social media users negotiate privacy violations and what role their understanding of privacy laws (or lack thereof) might play in their strategies of negotiation. The findings are threefold: first, privacy is understood almost universally as a matter of controlling one’s own data, including information disclosure even to friends, and is strongly connected to issues about personal autonomy; second, a form of resignation with respect to control over personal data appears to coexist with a recognized need to protect one’s private data, while respondents describe conscious attempts to circumvent systems of monitoring or violation of privacy, and third, despite widespread coverage of privacy legal issues in the press, respondents’ concerns about and engagement in “self-protecting” tactics derive largely from being personally affected by violations of law and privacy.
Social networks are now so well established, that there is a core 'top five' social networks that don't change much from year-to-year. But, as we'll see in this post, the most popular social media sites vary a lot by level of usage in different countries and demographics. Understanding these differences in popularity of different social networks is really important when targeting specific audiences. When comparing the most popular social networks it's best to review them by active account usage, not just the number of user accounts. We'll also see in this summary that some social networks are growing more rapidly than others while some are now in decline.
The study of this research aims to create an immense level of awareness among the youth exposed to such social networking sites and findings will not only bear results as to how adversely and positively is the youth affected by the usage of these sites but also will help the youth to understand the usage of these networking sites efficiently. Facebook, My Space, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype and Ning are a few such sites that attract maximum of the youth to tune in to them and thereby embodies their own merits and demerits that desperately need to create an actual picture among the youth. It has now become an evident and usual sight to face individuals being insensitive to chat in worshiping places, homes when relatives and guests are around, highways, schools, colleges and social gatherings wherein they are so preoccupied and engrossed into their phones that they do not even bother to look up as to where they are which results in their inability to prioritize as to what is important and what isn’t. Attention has thus been shifted from real to virtual world and visible to invisible friends.
The ubiquity of handheld devices provides straightforward access to the Internet and Social networking. The quick and easy updates from social networks help users in many situations like natural disasters, man-made disasters, etc. In such situations, individuals share information with the people in their network without checking the veracity of posts, which leads to the issue of rumor diffusion in a social network. Detection of rumor and source identification plays a vital role to control the diffusion of misinformation in a social network and also a good research domain in social network analysis. Source detection of such misinformation is often interesting and challenging task due to the fast diffusion of information and dynamic evolution of the social network. Accurate and quick detection of the rumor source is a very important and useful task in many application domains like source of disease in an epidemic model, start of virus spread, source of information or rumor in a social network. Most of the existing reviews which focused on source detection relate to various application domains and network perspective. But as per the need of current social networking usage and its influence on the society, it is a crucial and important topic to review the source detection approaches in the social network. The objective of this paper is to study and analyze the source detection approaches of rumor or misinformation in a social network. As an outcome of the literature study, we present the pictorial taxonomy of factors to be considered for the source detection approach and the classification of current source detection approaches in the social network. The focus has been given to various state-of-the-art source detection approaches of rumor or misinformation and comparison between approaches in social networks. This paper also focused on research challenges in current source detection approaches, public datasets and future research directions.
By now, we are all aware that social media has had a tremendous impact on our culture, in business, on the world-at-large. Social media websites are some of the most popular haunts on the Internet. They have revolutionized the way people communicate and socialize on the Web.
In recent years, different types of review systems have been developed with the recommender system (RS). RSs are developed based on user textual reviews, ratings, and comparative opinions. RSs for social media resources, such as blogs, forums, social network websites, social bookmarking websites, video portals, and chat portals help users to collaborate effectively. Social media resources are used in the RS for recommending contents, articles, news, e-commerce products, and users. Although research on social media in RSs has increased annually, comprehensive literature review and classification of these RS studies are limited and must, therefore, be improved. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of the social media RS on research articles published from 2011 to 2015 by exploiting a methodological decision analysis in six aspects, including recommendation approaches, research domains, and data sets used in each domain, data mining techniques, recommendation type, and the use of performance measures. A total of 61 articles are reviewed among the initial 434 articles on RS research published in Web of Science and Scopus between 2011 and 2015. To accomplish the aim of this paper, a comprehensive review and analysis was performed on extracted articles to explore various recommendation approaches which are used in the RS. In addition, various social media domains are identified, where RSs have been employed. In each identified domain, publicly available data sets are also reported. Furthermore, various data mining techniques, recommendation types, and performance measures are also analyzed and reviewed in technical aspects. Finally, potential open research directions are also presented for future researchers intended to work in social media RS domain.
The verdict is still out on whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens. This is in part due to the lack of research. Some studies show that online connections with small groups of people can be beneficial to teens, while other research points to a rise in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
With the rise of high speed internet connections and web enabled cell phones, it is easier than ever to find and access information on the Internet. As more people turn to the Internet for news and information, traditional media sources like newspapers, print magazines, and even encyclopedias are slowly going extinct. For breaking news, people now turn to Twitter. For information on US History, people now use Wikipedia. To interact with friends and relatives, people now use Facebook.
The last decade witnessed an enormous growth in popularity of several social media platforms. Although these platforms are generally meant to share information and opinions, their ubiquity is being increasingly exploited for spreading news and events in real time. Hence these platforms have become a natural choice for news agencies for getting updates, comments and experts’ opinion of ongoing events which is crucial to understand the societal impact and for writing reports/editorial. However, with the plethora of these platforms available, each having its own uniqueness in content presentation, spreading patterns and also in the user interests, a comparative study of the efficacy of these platforms for different journalistic purposes would be useful.
In this paper, we perform a comparative study of two leading social media platforms Reddit and Twitter. We have analyzed Reddit comments and Twitter feeds of six news categories to establish the efficacy of these platforms in terms of different journalistic requirements. Observations reveal that there exist significant differences across these platforms that can be suitably exploited depending upon the scope of the requirements; for example, while Twitter is a better choice for the evolutionary study of events, Reddit is the more natural choice for exploration during the initial phase of any event. While the availability and spread of updated information on Twitter can be key in emergency and disaster situations, critical analysis of posts in Reddit can be important for editorials.
Social media is currently one of the most important means of news communication. Since people are consuming a large fraction of their daily news through social media, most of the traditional news channels are using social media to catch the attention of users. Each news channel has its own strategies to attract more users. In this paper, we analyze how the news channels use sentiment to garner users’ attention in social media. We compare the sentiment of social media news posts of television, radio and print media, to show the differences in the ways these channels cover the news. We also analyze users’ reactions and opinion sentiment on news posts with different sentiments. We perform our experiments on a dataset extracted from Facebook Pages of five popular news channels. Our dataset contains 0.15 million news posts and 1.13 billion users reactions. The results of our experiments show that the sentiment of user opinion has a strong correlation with the sentiment of the news post and the type of information source. Our study also illustrates the differences among the social media news channels of different types of news sources.
The collaboration among individuals is essential to maximize economic efficiency. Today most of the technological and economical advancements require multidisciplinary efforts. Therefore promoting interaction and knowledge sharing between industry sectors within a country is more crucial than ever. One main platform for such communication is business-oriented online social networks where thousands of professionals from various sectors connect with each other. These social networks provide a way of disseminating the latest information in technology and business.
Our goal in this paper is to analyze the connectivity patterns of individuals in a business-oriented social network as a tool to understand how industry sectors are represented and interact with each other in such online platforms. To do that, we collect profiles of thousands of employees from a professional online social network. Then, first, we analyze the structural properties of the network and report its characteristics in comparison with the non-professional ones. Second, we map each employee to the sector she works in and study the connectivity patterns within each sector separately. We find that the connectivity patterns within sectors vary and the employees within a sector do not necessarily form densely connected communities. Third, we investigate the relationship between sectors via the connectivity of their employees and identify the main social clusters of sectors. We show that there are significant similarities between social connectivity and the economic transactions between sectors.
The institutions we have come to call “media” have been involved for over a century in providing an infrastructure for social life and have invested in a quite particular and privileged way of re-presenting the world as “social.” The dialectic between “media” and “social” has become more urgent to understand in an era when media and information infrastructures have expanded, converged, and become embedded more deeply in the texture of everyday life, while at the same time the claims of “media” to be social have become explicit, indeed insistent. This article asks what it would mean to address this new social/media dialectic head on—as if the social mattered. The word “social” is our necessary term for thinking about the complex interdependencies out of which human life really is made and the claims to represent that interdependent reality made from particular positions of power. All forms of power have invested in certain representations of the social. This battle matters, and now “social media”—the infrastructures of web 2.0—are at the heart of that battle. The article seeks to offer a plausible agenda for a collaborative program of research to address this struggle over the definition of “the social.”
This research was motivated by an interest in understanding how social media are applied in teaching in higher education. Data were collected using an online questionnaire, completed by 333 instructors in higher education, that asked about general social media use and specific use in teaching. Education and learning theories suggest three potential reasons for instructors to use social media in their teaching: (1) exposing students to practices, (2) extending the range of the learning environment, and (3) promoting learning through social interaction and collaboration. Answers to open-ended questions about how social media were used in teaching, and results of a factor analysis of coded results, revealed six distinct factors that align with these reasons for use: (1) facilitating student engagement, (2) instructor’s organization for teaching, (3) engagement with outside resources, (4) enhancing student attention to content, (5) building communities of practice, and (6) resource discovery. These factors accord with a Uses and Gratifications perspective that depicts adopters as active media users choosing and shaping media use to meet their own needs. Results provide a more comprehensive picture of social media use than found in previous work, encompassing not only the array of media used but also the range of purposes associated with use of social media in contemporary teaching initiatives.
This study aims to obtain an in-depth understanding of the use, opportunities, and challenges related to social media (SM) in achieving relationship marketing (RM) goals in professional sport. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 26 managers of professional sport teams from the four major leagues in North America. Results outline the platforms adopted, the six intended objectives of SM use, the seven opportunities SM provides, and the seven challenges of SM as a RM medium. Theoretical and practical implications as well as suggestions for future research are provided.
In 2015 and 2016, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) Social Media (SoMe) Team collaborated with established medical websites to promote CJEM articles using podcasts and infographics while tracking dissemination and readership.
CJEM publications in the “Original Research” and “State of the Art” sections were selected by the SoMe Team for podcast and infographic promotion based on their perceived interest to emergency physicians. A control group was composed retrospectively of articles from the 2015 and 2016 issues with the highest Altmetric score that received standard Facebook and Twitter promotions. Studies on SoMe topics were excluded. Dissemination was quantified by January 1, 2017 Altmetric scores. Readership was measured by abstract and full-text views over a 3-month period. The number needed to view (NNV) was calculated by dividing abstract views by full-text views.
The study focuses on sources of user-generated content (UGC) in social media: strong-tie sources, weak-tie sources, and tourism-tie sources and their effects on tourist satisfaction with the destination. It is separated into the pre- and post- travel processes. First, it addresses the influences of sources of UGC on tourist expectations about core resources and supporting factors, and then analyzes tourist satisfaction by concentrating on tourist expectations and perceptions of core resources and supporting factors. Findings suggest that UGC sources have an indirect effect on tourist satisfaction since most UGC sources have an influence on tourist expectations, which will later be compared with the real tourist perception. Main conclusions and some recommendations and limitations are provided.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047287517746014
The social media are becoming a major channel of online interactive participation, and local governments are seizing this opportunity to enhance citizen engagement in political and social affairs. This article analyses the various forms of social media used – that is, Twitter or Facebook – by citizens in their relations with Spanish local government, to determine which of these achieves the strongest degree of commitment. We also analyse the influence of various factors on this level of commitment. The results obtained show that Facebook is preferred to Twitter as a means of participating in local government issues. Other factors that are relevant to citizen engagement are the level of online transparency, mood, the level of activity in social media and the interactivity offered by the local government website. The findings of this study contribute significantly to understanding how citizen engagement is influenced by the type of social media adopted.
Natural hazards are becoming increasingly expensive as climate change and development are exposing communities to greater risks. Preparation and recovery are critical for climate change resilience, and social media are being used more and more to communicate before, during, and after disasters. While there is a growing body of research aimed at understanding how people use social media surrounding disaster events, most existing work has focused on a single disaster case study. In the present study, we analyze five of the costliest disasters in the last decade in the United States (Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, two sets of tornado outbreaks, and flooding in Louisiana) through the lens of Twitter. In particular, we explore the frequency of both generic and specific food-security related terms, and quantify the relationship between network size and Twitter activity during disasters. We find differences in tweet volume for keywords depending on disaster type, with people using Twitter more frequently in preparation for Hurricanes, and for real-time or recovery information for tornado and flooding events. Further, we find that people share a host of general disaster and specific preparation and recovery terms during these events. Finally, we find that among all account types, individuals with “average” sized networks are most likely to share information during these disasters, and in most cases, do so more frequently than normal. This suggests that around disasters, an ideal form of social contagion is being engaged in which average people rather than outsized influentials are key to communication. These results provide important context for the type of disaster information and target audiences that may be most useful for disaster communication during varying extreme events.
Despite the importance of social impact to social entrepreneurship research, standards for measuring an organization’s social impact are underdeveloped on both theoretical and empirical grounds. We identify a sample of 71 relevant papers from leading (FT50) business journals that examine, conceptually or empirically, the measurement of social impact. We first describe the breadth of definitions, data sources, and operationalizations of social impact. Based on this analysis, we generate a typology of four approaches to conceptualizing social impact, which we use to organize insights and recommendations regarding improved measurement of the social impact of entrepreneurial ventures.
This paper aims to present the concept of online social networks (OSN) and its evolution in the world of business as well as several important advantages and disadvantages of using online social networking sites. We are presenting a quantitative research on the main reasons for using online networking sites by high schools students from the several counties of Romania. The authors will present the results of the research which underline: the main activities undertaken by students with this new communication tool, the average number of friends the students have and the selection criteria for them as well as the influence level of OSN sites on the life and activity (school and private) of the students.
Information and communication technology has changed rapidly over the past 20 years with a key development being the emergence of social media.
The pace of change is accelerating. For example, the development of mobile technology has played an important role in shaping the impact of social media. Across the globe, mobile devices dominate in terms of total minutes spent online. This puts the means to connect anywhere, at any time on any device in everyone’s hands.
Social media, defined as interactive Web applications, have been on the rise globally, particularly among adults. The objective of this study was to investigate the trend of the literature related to the most used social network worldwide (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram) in the field of psychology. Specifically, this study will assess the growth in publications, citation analysis, international collaboration, author productivity, emerging topics and the mapping of frequent terms in publications pertaining to social media in the field of psychology.
In 2015, American adolescents aged 13 to 18 years reported using social media 1 hour and 11 minutes a day, 7 days a week. Social media are used for a variety of activities, including sharing information, interacting with peers, and developing a coherent identity. In this review of the research, we examine how social media are intertwined with adolescent development and assess both the costs and benefits of adolescent social media use. We include suggestions for further research and recommendations for clinicians, policy makers, and educators.
As teachers, we all have assumptions -- and likely some opinions -– about teenagers and social media. But are those assumptions correct? Well, now we have research to help us find out. This week, Common Sense is releasing its latest research report, Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences, a deep dive into the social media habits of American teenagers.
Social media is computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities. By design, social media is internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content. Content includes personal information, documents, videos, and photos. Users engage with social media via computer, tablet or smartphone via web-based software or web application, often utilizing it for messaging.
The emergence of social media has profoundly impacted the delivery and consumption of sport. In the current review we analysed the existing body of knowledge of social media in the field of sport management from a service-dominant logic perspective, with an emphasis on relationship marketing. We reviewed 70 journal articles published in English-language sport management journals, which investigated new media technologies facilitating interactivity and co-creation that allow for the development and sharing of user-generated content among and between brands and individuals (i.e., social media). Three categories of social media research were identified: strategic, operational, and user-focussed. The findings of the review demonstrate that social media research in sport management aligns with service-dominant logic and illustrates the role of social media in cultivating relationships among and between brands and individuals. Interaction and engagement play a crucial role in cultivating these relationships. Discussion of each category, opportunities for future research as well as suggestions for theoretical approaches, research design and context are advanced.
Internet commentators love to shout their opinions, but new research shows that the loudest might not know what they’re talking about. Jacob Groshek, a Boston University College of Communication (COM) assistant professor of emerging media studies, researches online communication and social media. In a June 2016 essay in The Conversation, Groshek wrote about how online discussion can distort facts and disrupt science communication. Specifically, tracking how information about antimicrobial resistance spreads online, Groshek and collaborators James Katz, Feld Professor of Emerging Media at COM, and Kevin Outterson, a BU professor of law, as well as graduate students from the Emerging Media Studies program, found that those who posted about science most online were likely to be the most misinformed.
Do you get anxious when you cannot check your Facebook or Twitter account? Believe it or not, that is a real disorder. Social media anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that is similar to social anxiety disorder. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States. It seems that the more technology we acquire, the more stressed out we become. According to the experts, almost 20% of people with social media accounts cannot go more than three hours without checking them. So, what is social media anxiety disorder?
Researchers of social media struggle to stay up to speed: empirical findings are most often very context- and time-specific and quickly become outdated because the object of study changes. By extension, previously solid and well-tested methods and tools may be rendered obsolete, for instance, as social media services change their application programming interfaces (APIs). The stabilizing component in social media research is arguably good theory—about the communicative patterns and bit trails of use, the actions that social media channel and mobilize, the interplay between social and other media, and, of course, the implications of social media for sociality, privacy, and society at large. In this essay, the concept and study of meaning is proposed as a key concern for social media research. “Meaning” highlights the generative process by which users negotiate the communicative potentials and constraints of a text or a medium vis-a-vis the individuals’ preexisting mental models, expectations, and intentions in context.
I’m turning into an old fart, a cranky broad, a bit fusty about this thing called social media. I might even secretly pride myself on having an inactive or, at least, a very stale social media presence. I’m so uncool. Yeah, I’m an egghead. Don’t even get me started about the 107 friend requests I’ve ignored on you-know-what. And good lord, the numbers of people that are listed as potential friends . . . scrolls and scrolls and scrolls and scrolls of ’em . . . until I lose track after at least 200 miniature profile pictures, but wait! Wasn’t she my student back in the late 1990s? What class was that, Social Uses of New Media? And hey, clever of that MP to be here—could it be my contribution to their last rather lackluster campaign? OK, neighbors in a few recent cities I’ve lived in, that colleague of the colleague that I met at one of those annual conferences . . . but someone I went to high school with in the era of bellbottom blues, Nixon, and weak weed? And, oh man, look at this lineup of academics! Academics, here, there, and everywhere . . . wow, such polished profile pictures! God, I feel bad all of a sudden . . . not quite depressed . . . a bit panicked, stressed, yeah definitely stressed . . .
OK, so what if I’m a bit fraudulent because I don’t strut the stuff even though I’ve been teaching courses and writing about information and communications technologies (ICTs) writ large for years? Here are some of my thoughts about the questions posed as Social Media + Society kicks off its formative and undoubtedly glorious years!
The struggle we currently perceive in terms of social media privacy may be the result of the incompatible natures of “warm” and “cold” affordances. Whereas social media’s warm affordances reflect long-standing privacy routines and expectations, cold affordances seem to challenge and sometimes violate them. Sharing under the realm of warm affordances means sharing according to the routines and habits we know. Sharing under the realm of cold affordances means understanding social media’s terms and conditions and how they reflect on our relationships and experiences - similar to assimilating to a new culture that seems opaque and constantly in flux.
This introduction to the Special Issue of Social Media + Society discusses the key theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches needed to gain insight into how social platforms intervene in public space. It starts by highlighting how in the emerging platform society public and private communication is reshaped by social media’s commercial mechanisms, transforming the political economy of the media landscape. Given the complex character of this society, it is essential to employ different perspectives and approaches to trace the multifaceted forces at work in this new global system. Building on the seven contributions to this Special Issue, we show the need for multidisciplinary scholarship. More specifically, we consider the insights produced through historical–cultural, socio-technical, and techno-commercial inquiries into the evolving relationship between social platforms and public space. The introduction concludes with a reflection on the necessity to combine these perspectives in one analytical model.
Although research has examined the social media–shareholder value link, the role of consumer mindset metrics in this relationship remains unexplored. To this end, drawing on the elaboration likelihood model and accessibility/diagnosticity perspective, the authors hypothesize varying effects of owned and earned social media (OSM and ESM) on brand awareness, purchase intent, and customer satisfaction and link these consumer mindset metrics to shareholder value (abnormal returns and idiosyncratic risk). Analyzing daily data for 45 brands in 21 sectors using vector autoregression models, they find that brand fan following improves all three mindset metrics. ESM engagement volume affects brand awareness and purchase intent but not customer satisfaction, while ESM positive and negative valence have the largest effects on customer satisfaction. OSM increases brand awareness and customer satisfaction but not purchase intent, highlighting a nonlinear effect of OSM. Interestingly, OSM is more likely to increase purchase intent for high involvement utilitarian brands and for brands with higher reputation, implying that running a socially responsible business lends more credibility to OSM. Finally, purchase intent and customer satisfaction positively affect shareholder value.
In recent years, there has been widespread concern that misinformation on social media is damaging societies and democratic institutions. In response, social media platforms have announced actions to limit the spread of false content. We measure trends in the diffusion of content from 569 fake news websites and 9,540 fake news stories on Facebook and Twitter between January 2015 and July 2018. User interactions with false content rose steadily on both Facebook and Twitter through the end of 2016. Since then, however, interactions with false content have fallen sharply on Facebook while continuing to rise on Twitter, with the ratio of Facebook engagements to Twitter shares decreasing by 60 percent. In comparison, interactions with other news, business, or culture sites have followed similar trends on both platforms. Our results suggest that the relative magnitude of the misinformation problem on Facebook has declined since its peak.
For studying populism in a hybrid and high-choice media environment, the comparison of various media channels is especially instructive. We argue that populism-related communication is a combination of key messages (content) and certain stylistic devices (form), and we compare their utilization by a broad range of political actors on Facebook, Twitter, and televised talk shows across six countries (CH, DE, FR, IT, UK, and US). We conducted a content analysis of social media and talk show statements (N = 2067) from 31 parties during a nonelection period of 3 months in 2015. We place special emphasis on stylistic devices and find that they can be grouped into three dimensions—equivalent to three dimensions used for populist key messages. We further find that political parties are generally more inclined to use populism-related communication on Facebook and Twitter than in political talk shows and that both new challenger parties and extreme parties use higher amounts of populist key messages and style elements.
Consumers frequently express themselves by posting about products on social media. Because consumers can use physical products to signal their identities, posting about products on social media may be a way for consumers to virtually signal identity. The authors propose that there are conditions in which this action can paradoxically reduce a consumer’s subsequent purchase intentions. Five experiments demonstrate that posting products on social media that are framed as being identity-relevant can reduce a consumer’s subsequent purchase intentions for the same and similar products, as this action allows consumers to virtually signal their identity, fulfilling identity-signaling needs. Fortunately for retailers, the authors suggest theoretically and managerially relevant moderators that attenuate this negative effect on intent to purchase. These findings have important implications for how firms can conduct social media marketing to minimize negative purchase outcomes.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022243718821960
Assessing the impact of an individual’s social network on an individual is difficult without administering a large number of surveys. Online social networks with built-in data collection circumvent this problem. The data collected by an exercise-focused social media website and mobile app allowed the estimation of the effect of both the behavior of the social network and the size of that network on the behavior of individual service users (31,200 users reporting 67,699 exercise events with a potential range of 87 weeks). The results are consistent with the theory of normative social behavior in that the amount of exercise reported by the user’s social network as well as the size of the user’s on-site social network affected the user’s exercise behavior over time.