- The Affordances of Social Media Platforms
- Book title
- The SAGE Handbook of Social Media
- Pages (from-to)
- Sage Publications
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This chapter reflects on the concept of affordance as a key term for understanding and analysing social media interfaces and the relations between technology and its users. In outlining its specific intellectual trajectory from psychology, to technology and design studies, sociology, and communication and media studies, our intention is to focus on some of the many–and sometimes conflicting–ways in which affordance has been conceptualized and operationalized across various disciplinary boundaries. Following the renewed debates over affordances in recent scholarship on social, we address some of the new directions in which media and communication scholars have proposed to define and analytically deploy the concept. We first describe five different–but related–ways in which affordance has been conceptualized and subsequently address how it has been employed to analyse social media in particular. We then outline a platform-sensitive approach to affordance as an analytical tool for examining social media based on recent examples of changes to the Twitter platform.
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