Twitter and society : an introduction

Weller, Katrin, Bruns, Axel, Burgess, Jean E., Mahrt, Merja, & Puschmann, Cornelius (2014) Twitter and society : an introduction. In Weller, Katrin, Bruns, Axel, Burgess, Jean, Mahrt, Merja, & Puschmann, Cornelius (Eds.) Twitter and Society. Peter Lang, New York, xxix-xxxviii.

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Abstract

Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has turned from a niche service to a mass phenomenon. By the beginning of 2013, the platform claims to have more than 200 million active users, who “post over 400 million tweets per day” (Twitter, 2013). Its success is spreading globally; Twitter is now available in 33 different languages, and has significantly increased its support for languages that use non-Latin character sets. While Twitter, Inc. has occasionally changed the appearance of the service and added new features—often in reaction to users’ developing their own conventions, such as adding ‘#’ in front of important keywords to tag them—the basic idea behind the service has stayed the same: users may post short messages (tweets) of up to 140 characters and follow the updates posted by other users. This leads to the formation of complex follower networks with unidirectional as well as bidirectional connections between individuals, but also between media outlets, NGOs, and other organisations. While originally ‘microblogs’ were perceived as a new genre of online communication, of which Twitter was just one exemplar, the platform has become synonymous with microblogging in most countries. A notable exception is Sina Weibo, popular in China where Twitter is not available. Other similar platforms have been shut down (e.g., Jaiku), or are being used in slightly different ways (e.g., Tumblr), thus making Twitter a unique service within the social media landscape.

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ID Code: 66322
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: social media, Twitter, society, Internet studies
ISBN: 9781433121708
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Studies (200101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Deposited On: 20 Jan 2014 01:50
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2015 21:46

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