Social Media Analysis

We have chosen to research the Twitter, Instagram and Reddit community. Due to reasons that the topic is hard to find a community for, we had to resort to other maneuvers in order to research a community. For example for Twitter we did by using hashtags from our keywords list in order to see how many users are posting about the breakings news and how much people react to it or not. We did the same for Instagram and for Reddit, trying to post a question into a thread that has to do with the Super Tuesday results. 

 

Twitter

Relevant:

Considering that the focus of the research lies on learning about the way users learn about news with the help of hashtags, Twitter can be seen as the prime example. Hashtags were invented for this platform and its community is using it ever since.

 Active:

With around 500 million new Tweets per day, Twitter is one of the busiest social media platforms worldwide (W3C, 2016). Within those Tweets, numerous hashtags are being used, presenting an ideal basis for the intended research. Furthermore, people can actually learn about breaking news on Twitter, since it enables eye witnesses and surrounding people to post something about certain events or incidents right away. That implies that the daily number of Tweets continuously adds more aspects to it.

Interactive:

Users can choose which pages or accounts they would like to follow, they can get connected with each other. When something is being posted, other users have the chance to react to it right away. Within the commenting section, Twitter users can interact with each other to share their opinions at any given moment. In order to bring together people who wish to discuss about certain topics such as news or daily issues, on Twitter the hashtag #discussion was introduced. Searching for this keyword on Twitter, one will immediately get an overview over latest Twitter discussion, always having the opportunity to participate themselves (Twitter, #discussions – search, 2016).

 Heterogeneous:

Twitter itself sees its mission in assigning everyone the power to share and create ideas as well as information immediately and barrier free (Twitter, About the Company, 2016) With around 320 million active users, one can assume that this network must be pretty diverse. Secondary research conducted by the Pew Research Centre revealed that around 50% of all people using Twitter are under 35. Another 25% are 36-49 years of age (PRC, 2013). Since Twitter is used worldwide, people with different ethnicities, values, beliefs as well as social standard and life status can directly interact with each other.

Data-rich:

As mentioned before, the network is fed by an incredibly high number of new postings every day. Those postings are being stored and with the help of search as well as advanced search functions, one can always access it again. It serves as a huge database of different opinions, thoughts and discussions that can always be filtered by location. This is expected to enrich the research, given the ability to make direct comparisons between postings per location or groupings of people.

 

Instagram

Relevant:

Within the social network that is mainly concerned with photo and video sharing, hashtags play an important role. Hashtags on Instagram are not only used to enable users to find their pictures and tags more easily, but also to learn about news and the worldly happenings surrounding us. Today, Instagram has become one of the most relevant social media giants – ranked just before Twitter. For the purpose of the research, we can investigate the ways of using hashtags on Instagram compared to the ones of Twitter, for example.

Active:

From “only” 90 million users in 2013, the Instagram community now comprises more than 400 million active users a month, 20% of all internet users also make use of Instagram (DMR, Interesting Instagram Statistics, 2016). Similar to Twitter, it serves as a platform to not only share moments but also to discuss about hot topics, generally using hashtags of any kind.

 Interactive:

As soon as a picture or a video is posted, users get the chance to talk about it, either in the commenting section or even via Insta-message. Due to the massive amount of daily uploads, the platform offers a wide range of possible topics, enabling Instagrammers to get in touch with each other.

 Heterogeneous:

Comparable to Twitter, Instagram’s user-community is spread all over the world. The platform enables the interaction of people from different social classes, different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities.

 Data-rich:

Again, Instagram is working similarly to Twitter. With a huge number of postings every day, the platform’s data-richness is incredibly high. By using hashtags of any kind, the network can be selectively scraped for certain information.

 

Reddit

Relevant:

In contrast to Twitter and Instagram, Reddit is a social news, entertainment networking service which basically works as an online bulletin board system. Although it is primarily working without hashtags, it has a lot to do with the way today’s society learns about breaking news (Alexa, 2015). Comparing this with two social media platforms that heavily rely on hashtag usage, useful conclusions can be drawn for research purposes.

Active:

In 2015, Reddit had around 542 million users per month (Alexa, 2015). Nevertheless, relevant news, topics and issues are dealt with on a daily basis. Basically available as well as accessible for everybody.

 Interactive:

Since it is not quite functioning in the same way a typical social media platform does, Reddit users do not have a profile in the original sense. There are user profiles, but not as ostensible as it is for Instagram and Twitter (e.g. 542 million monthly users but only 36 million user accounts). Still, people are able to comment on certain topics and by doing so, daily discussions are being encouraged. A special feature about Reddit is the fact that so-called Reddit communities are existent. This enables users to unite for the sake of a certain topic or issue in order to further discuss it (DMR, By the Numbers: Reddit Statistics, 2015)

 Heterogeneous:

Since it also is an online service, Reddit-pages can be accessed from more than 210 countries all around the world. Therefore, its audience is just as diverse (DMR, By the Numbers: Reddit Statistics, 2015).

 Data-rich:

Having around 853.824 Sub-reddits to date, with this number steadily expanding and accounting for considerable online traffic, Reddit can be seen as a base providing rich and various data.

 

 

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