European Conference on Social Media <p>The European Conference on Social Media has been run on an annual basis since 2014. Conference Proceedings have been published each year and authors have been encouraged to upload their papers to university repositories. In addition the proceedings are indexed by a number of indexing bodies.</p> <p>From 2022 the publishers have decided to make all conference proceedings fully open access. Individual papers and full proceedings can be accessed via this system.</p> <p><strong>PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WISH TO SUBMIT A PAPER TO THIS CONFERENCE YOU SHOULD VISIT THE CONFERENCE WEBSITE AT<a href=""></a> THIS PORTAL IS FOR AUTHORS OF ACCEPTED PAPERS ONLY.</strong></p> en-US (Louise Remenyi) (Sue Nugus) Tue, 21 May 2024 15:15:17 +0000 OJS 60 Deconstructing Digital Rhetoric to Face Geopolitical Challenges: A Social Media Narrative Analysis Framework <p>Skyrocketing technological advancement along with changes in environment dynamics allowed people, states and governments to influence each other’s diplomacy, security and international relations, using words and images, strings of events, to construct narratives. The rhetoric of power and conflict is &nbsp;distributed in chameleonic volatile environments, targeting members of the society to challenge security status and power balance, while new media instruments feed people`s thirst for information to challenge their beliefs into tailoring attitudes and behaviours. Defined by many as a “portrayal of events surrounding change” (Dunford and Jones, 2000) or as “central feature of modern influencing across borders (Wagnsson&nbsp; and Lundström, 2023) in a continuous “battle”, (Van Noort, 2017), strategic narratives bear multiple meanings, generated by the&nbsp; versatility of the digital dissemination channels. Understanding these meanings enlighten many directions, like international relations, diplomacy and politics, resulting in risk-free engagement, vulnerability- awareness and controlled decision-making policies, just by using narrative analysis as the appropriate instrument. However, the classical analytical models do not provide enough lenses to grasp all the components generating meaning in a digitally disseminated content and many features are thus ignored, mutilating paramount intelligence otherwise needed to complete the picture. That is why, this paper advances a model framework for a digital narrative analysis that looks at components of the textual narrative backed by the features of the environment, the characteristics of the audience and the dynamics of the dissemination, coupled with more recent social media metrics. To this end, we reviewed literature on Russian formalism (Propp, 1928), (Tomashevsky, 1965) structuralist narratology (Todorov 1969, Genette 1988, Bal 1977), poststructuralism&nbsp; (Chatman,1978) and postclassical narratology (Herman, Fludernik, 1999) to the most recent digitally related approaches (Georgakopoulou, 2020), (Bal, 2021) and then advanced our analysis framework that adds specific traits which social media environments enhance. We thus intend to contribute to the large body of literature with an analytical model, to render a&nbsp; mould of the strategic narratives in the security, defence, politics and international relations.. This paper is part of a larger study, the framework will be piloted in further research, where data will be gathered to validate the model.</p> Maria-Magdalena Popescu Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Thu, 23 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Textism in the Classroom: A Writing Destruction for School Learners in South Africa <p>The rise of the Third Industrial Revolution (3IR) introduced various interactive digital platforms such as computer-mediated communication (CMC). These platforms include social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Instagram. During the exchange of messages, social media users use language distinctively to express their thoughts. Both conventional and non-conventional writing styles manifest. For instance, while others use well-formed language in line with the conventions of a standard language, some use unconventional language, which is termed multiple names such as textism, texteese, and social media language. Since most of the social media users’ age profiles match the age group of learners in secondary schools, it became necessary for this study to explore the possible impact of social media on learners’ academic writing, particularly in the official indigenous languages of South Africa. This study used a qualitative research approach to explore the impact of social media on learners’ writing of the Sepedi language in 10 secondary schools in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Using focus group interviews and document analysis, the paper discovered that learners’ application of writing mechanics such as grammar and punctuation marks are affected by social media. The paper is conceptualised through cultivation theory.</p> Kganathi Shaku Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Thu, 23 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Current Leading Social Media Platforms Used by Marketers and its Benefits <p>In 2024, focusing on social media in marketing is paramount due to its unparalleled reach, influence, and ability to engage diverse audiences. With consumers increasingly reliant on digital platforms for information and interaction, leveraging social media ensures brands remain visible, relevant, and competitive in an ever-evolving marketplace. This paper provides an analysis of the rapidly evolving landscape of social media marketing, with a focus on discerning trends, data preferences, and strategic platform utilization among marketers worldwide. The research draws upon extensive data collected from diverse industries, aiming to illuminate the shifting strategies employed by marketers to amplify their impact on various social media platforms. Examining trends, as indicated by marketers', constitutes a significant aspect of this study. Furthermore, the paper delves into the types of marketing data deemed indispensable by global marketing decision-makers, categorizing them based on their perceived importance. Additionally, the paper explores the domains where enhancing marketing data quality is believed to yield the most substantial benefits according to decision-makers in marketing roles across the globe. Moreover, the research endeavors to uncover the social media platforms perceived to offer the highest return on investment (ROI) by marketers, as well as identifying the platforms considered most critical for their marketing endeavors. We also analyze the leading social media platforms preferred by marketers and outline the primary benefits attributed to the utilization of social media for marketing purposes. The findings of this comprehensive analysis offer invaluable insights for marketers, empowering them to refine their strategies, allocate resources more effectively, and harness the full potential of social media platforms. By providing an overview of emerging trends, data preferences, and platform utilization strategies, this paper serves as a strategic roadmap for marketers navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape, facilitating the optimization of marketing outcomes and business success.</p> Lenka Labudová Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 28 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Consumers’ Perception of Social Media Influencers: A Study of Skincare Brands in Nigeria <p>In the highly competitive consumer market, brand owners are working tirelessly towards retaining their ‘loyal’ customers, and ensuring that the consumers of other brands make a switch to their products; all these are geared towards remaining relevant in the business world. Hence, social media has become a viable medium to pass these messages as a result of the increasing impact of modern technology and “know-how.” The engagement of well-known personalities for social media brand influencing has become a viable tool employed by brand owners to give maximum visibility to their products. They are influential because online users, in most cases, adopt their personalities as role models while many others idolize them. Hence, their promotion of brands and products on social media is usually widely accepted by these groups of consumers. In recent times, there have been reports and cases of influenced skincare brands and products that have fallen short of efficacy and quality as purported by the influencers of the brands in question. Consumers have expressed dissatisfaction, frustration, and waste of money regarding the purchase and usage of some skincare brands that were purchased as a result of the content created around the products by their social media influencers. Therefore, this study seeks to examine consumers’ perception of the engagement of social media influencers of skin-care products using Focus Group Discussion and a survey of female respondents who are known to use skincare products. Results show that the use of influencers does not necessarily inform their purchase or usage of certain skin care products. This is because, first, skin care products are sensitive and could damage customers’ skin, which makes them purchase through referrals rather than depending on influencers’ reports about the product. Second, the social media platform is commonly known as a medium that online users can easily manipulate for deception. The study suggests that Influencers should adopt credible means of creating awareness for their brand. </p> Tolulope Kayode-Adedeji, Ifunanya Okechukwu, Tunji Oyedepo Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Wed, 05 Jun 2024 00:00:00 +0000 TikTok as an Educational Platform: Teenagers’ Experiences <p>TikTok as social media in general has a controversial reputation and its academic potential is not much explored. Nowadays TikTok is extremely popular among teenagers for entertainment purposes and its popularity is constantly growing. The platform’s short-length videos are delivering small and easily digestible pieces of information that are potentially suitable for attracting and capturing student attention. They deliver information in a concise manner, which could be useful for various school subjects. The aim of our study is to find out whether teenagers use the platform for education and how they evaluate the platform’s academic potential. We asked 34 teenagers (M=15.59, SD=1.76, 59% female), who attend various grammar schools in Germany, about their use of TikTok and their perception of the platform’s educational potential. The results show that those teenagers who use TikTok also consume school-relevant content from the platform, such as learning methods, physical explanations, mathematical tricks, astronomy and biology facts. Those who consider the platform helpful for learning highlight two main reasons: the speed and ease of access to information and the brief and easy-to-understand content<em>.</em> However, the teenagers also point out two main problems regarding the use of TikTok for learning: its high level of distraction and the absence of information about sources. Though the majority consider the platform as a purely entertaining medium, 44% of teenagers think that it can be used both for entertainment and education. 29% of teenagers consider TikTok to have a potential to be a supplementary educational medium. Teenagers suggested the following improvements for TikTok to make it more effective as an educational tool: mark credible sources and reliable information, create separate space for learning for instance through filters or special settings, create more reliable educational content, make the platform safer and less distractive. The captivating nature of TikTok is a double-edged sword: it can spark interest in complicated topics, but it also tends to draw attention to irrelevant content. The results and limitations of the study are presented in the article.</p> Zinaida Adelhardt, Thomas Eberle Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 On Presenters and Commenters in YouTube Climate Change Videos <p>Social media videos can promote viewers responsibility to solve social problems such as climate change. Not all aspiring videos, however, are successful in persuading their viewers on the perils involved in climate change and on the need for pro-environmental behaviour. Our study examined attributes that could explain a video’s persuasiveness and focused on the video presenter traits. Videos on climate change were sourced from YouTube conjointly with the comments they elicited. The presenters in these videos addressed the negative effects and dangers of climate change and the role of human activity in resolving them. Two attributes were manually coded for each video: the type of presenter in the videos– scientist, politician or celebrity, and their presentation style: blaming, stating the problem, or suggesting a solution. A measure of persuasiveness was computed from the YouTubers comments using sentiment analysis. This computation provided a polarity label – positive, negative, or neutral, for all comments, for each video. Subsets of 50 comments per video were manually coded to validate the computational analysis. The findings indicated that a predominant number of positive-polarity comments was elicited by video presenters who were scientists. Videos that proposed potential solutions to climate change elicited a majority of positive polarity. Politicians and celebrity presenters, as well as blame-oriented videos elicited a larger number of negative-polarity comments. These initial findings imply a potential of sentiment analysis of comments to elucidate which attributes can increase a video’s persuasiveness on its viewers. This insight can improve future video production and enhance their influence.</p> Vered Aharonson, Jared Joselowitz Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Less is More: Stress Detection through Condensed Social Media Contents <p>In the digital age, social media has been a go-to platform for stress-related discussions, yielding valuable data to advance the understanding and detection of stress. Swift identification of stress indicators in these online conversations is essential in enabling immediate support and helping to avert subsequent severe mental and physical health issues, especially during global crises such as pandemics and conflicts. Detecting stress in social media posts automatically poses a formidable challenge. While techniques such as supervised Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) and zero-shot Large Language Models (LLMs) based classifiers have demonstrated significant performance, they exhibit limitations, especially on platforms like Reddit. For example, on Reddit, users tend to write lengthy, expressive posts, which causes these methods to often fail to consider the entire context, leading to incomplete or inaccurate assessments of a user's mental health or stress status. To overcome these limitations, we present a new approach to identifying and classifying stress-related discourse on social media. Our approach involves analyzing condensed versions of user posts, such as user-provided summaries or the "Too Long Didn’t Read" (TLDR) portion of the original post. We question whether these abridged texts can yield a more accurate classification of stress. In this paper, we make the following contributions. First, we investigate the relationship between the performance of the model's perceived textual context and the length of social media posts. Second, we present a novel approach to use the summarized texts for stress detection. We experiment with different classifiers to evaluate their performance on stress detection accuracy using summarized versus full-length posts. Furthermore, by examining the emotional and linguistic features of the original posts and their summaries, we suggest improvements to current state-of-the-art LLM-based stress classifier prompts, thereby enhancing stress detection capabilities. Finally, when user summaries are absent, we synthetically generate meaningful user post summaries by incorporating the power of LLMs. Our results show that the stress detection performance deteriorates for longer posts, and utilizing the TLDR and summaries improves classification outcomes. We also provide augmented datasets containing human and AI-generated summaries for future research in stress detection on social media.</p> Zeyad Alghamdi, Tharindu Kumarage, Garima Agrawal, Huan Liu, H. Russell Bernard Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Users' Adoption of Social Media Platforms for Government Services: The Role of Perceived Privacy, Perceived Security, Trust, and Social Influence <p>The rapid integration of social media platforms in government service delivery marks a transformative trend in the digital era. This study investigates the critical factors influencing user adoption of social media for accessing government services, focusing on perceived privacy, perceived security, trust, and social influence. Drawing upon theoretical frameworks of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), and the Trust-Privacy-Identity (TPI) framework, the research offers a comprehensive understanding of how users perceive and interact with government services on social media platforms. The study emphasises the importance of users' confidence in privacy and security measures, examining how these perceptions shape their willingness to engage with government services online. A key finding of this research is the significant role of Perceived Security and Privacy (PSP) in influencing users’ trusting intentions. At the same time, Social Influence (SI) predominantly affects their intention to use these platforms. Additionally, Trusting Intention (TI) is found to be a crucial determinant of users’ Intention to Use (IU). Contrary to expectations, the study reveals that Social Influence (SI) does not significantly impact users’ trusting intention, and gender does not appear to play a significant role in determining the intention to use or trust intention. The study has important implications for both research and practice. For policymakers and government agencies, understanding that trust and perceived security are central to user adoption. This knowledge is vital for enhancing the effectiveness of government service delivery via social media, ensuring that these platforms are not only accessible but also trusted by the public.</p> Lamya Almansoori, Reem Al-Katheeri, Mousa Al-kfairy Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Online Learning in 280 Characters: Analysing Public Sentiment on Online Learning During COVID-19 <p>The global COVID-19 pandemic forced a seismic shift towards online learning, replacing conventional in-person education in response to the inherent health risks. This transformation showcased the resilience of educational systems and the transformative potential of technology in breaking geographical barriers and delivering accessible learning opportunities. Despite the pandemic's challenges, it expedited online education developments, heralding a more adaptable, inclusive educational paradigm poised to outlast the pandemic's immediate effects. This study investigates public sentiment and perspectives concerning online learning in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic, using Twitter as a primary data source. By scrutinising tweets and interactions, this study aims to unearth insights into the challenges, advantages, and overall perceptions of online learning amid the pandemic. The analysis of the collected dataset revealed a prevalent negativity at 37.19%, contrasting with 29.37% positive sentiments and 33.43% neutral viewpoints. The primary cause for negative perceptions lies in the difficulties encountered during the shift to online learning, leading to strain on platforms. Nevertheless, positive feedback highlights the efficacy of the online learning system, viewing it as an opportunity for educational development. Neutral tweets often mention platform names, reflecting the nature of the data collected. Key themes in online learning discourse during the pandemic included technological challenges, student engagement, equity, teacher support, and assessment. The study emphasises the potential of Twitter data in identifying obstacles, gauging sentiment, and improving online learning strategies by sharing best practices and tailoring interventions.</p> Anas Alsuhaibani, Mohammed Almotrafi, Faisal Alossaimi, Ahmad Alhassan, Mohammed Alaklabi Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Instagram Social Media Communication in Pandemic Times: A Deductive Qualitative Analysis of a Portuguese Digital Influencer’s Profile <p>The power of social media as an influential tool is undeniable, and influencer marketing has emerged as a strategic element, introducing innovative methods of communication, promotion, and advertising to support content creators (Brown &amp; Hayes, 2008). In this context, the study aimed to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the communication strategies of Portuguese digital influencer Helena Coelho. The focus was on the content shared on her primary platform, Instagram, widely recognized for influencer marketing. The epidemiological crisis triggered by the pandemic raised the crucial question of how content creators adapted to new ways of communicating with the public. This period of uncertainty imposed significant challenges, forcing creators to reevaluate their communication strategies. To understand these adaptations, the research presented in this paper adopted a deductive qualitative approach, which enabled an in-depth analysis of the content posted by Helena Coelho, a highly followed Portuguese Instagram influencer. A focus group was conducted and included a convenient purposive sample of five female individuals, aged between 22 and 24 years and all active followers of the influencer's Instagram account. The study also resorted to observational research techniques with which 60 Instagram posts, collected between April 1st and April 31st, 2019, and April 1st and April 31st, 2020. This interval was chosen to identify changes in the influencer's communication strategies, covering both pre-pandemic and active pandemic periods. The results revealed that, although the influencer faced challenges due to the lack of common everyday activities during the lockdown, she was able to adjust her communication strategies, engaging the audience through home-produced content such as live streams and challenges, and effectively utilizing hashtags. As a consequence of these adjustments, the influencer experienced a substantial growth in her number of followers and engagement rate on Instagram in 2020 when compared to 2019. The collected and analyzed data indicate that the changes in her communication strategy, due to limitations derived from the pandemic, had a positive impact on her overall results, contributing to her growth and influence in the digital landscape.</p> Ana Filipa Costa, Teresa Gouveia, Nídia Salomé Morais, Rui Raposo Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 From Pixels to Personalities: Identity Formation in Virtual Communities through Multimodal Communication <p>Communities of Practice (CoPs) are an important thread in the social fabric of knowledge sharing (Wenger, 2004). Members of CoPs who share a common passion and interact regularly in a bid to improve their discipline and expertise contribute thus to the cohort of knowledge and practice. Recently, due to the transformation of technology this interaction is no longer limited to the physical world but more than often it takes place using communication channels thus breaking the boundaries of time and space. This has led to the rise of the term Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoPs). It is recognised by previous research that it is the informal communication that helps in building and sustenance of a CoP which is more so in the VCoP albeit the hurdles. The members of CoP negotiate their identities on the basis of the communication and move from peripheral membership to the core of the CoP. Similar movement and interactions are also found in VCoP. Multimodal communication forms an integral part of communication. This paper explores the usage of multimodal communication especially emojis, GIFs along with photographs in the formation and negotiation of identities of the members of the VCoP. This study uses discourse analysis to analyse the year-long communication within two VCoPs composed of academicians across India. The findings of the study indicate that use of such multimodal elements of communication contribute towards development of trust needed for knowledge sharing and sustenance of a VCoP and perception of identities within the VCoP.</p> Ajita Deshmukh Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Studying the Impact Of D.P.SL Model on Online Identity Management <p>This paper investigates online identities through social media language use, with a focus on classifying online identity within textual conversations. It sheds light on how Demographic (D) groups and Personality (P) impact the use of Social-Media Language (SL) for identity representation online. This study was conducted in 2023 when there were 4.76 billion social media users worldwide, making it essential to study how social media language is used in textual conversations to convey online identity. The study defines social media language as consisting of emoticons/emojis, abbreviations, and mixed language within textual conversations, which have become essential for expressing feelings and emotions during conversations. The D.P.SL based survey conducted for this work aimed to understand how demographic groups and personality are related to social media language. Based on the total number of social media user worldwide, 400 responses (required based on Cochran and Yamane’s formulae sample-size calculation) and the survey was distributed across various verified online survey exchange platforms. However, 406 responses were recorded with young people in age groups of 18-24 and 25-34 using social media language more as it has become a part of their social media habits. The study also found that emoticons/emojis and slang abbreviations with letter reduplication were quite common, making conversations lively and funny. Additionally, individuals whose primary language is not English use their native language but type in English for quick communication. Subsequent study is to be conducted using online mock group conversations between participating respondents to further understand correlations, causation, and concurrency on how ‘online identity’ is managed during online communications via social media language, its context of use, and polarity sentiment.</p> Pratik Emmanuel, Olufemi Isiaq Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Social Media use by the Elderly: Friend or foe <p>Worldwide, populations are aging, especially in the developed world. In parallel with this increase in the elderly population groups, there has been an increase in the use of social media. However, few studies have explored the use of social media for social engagement by the elderly and the motivations behind such use. The generally accepted age threshold of being elderly is 65 years. Often this coincides with retirement age as well as social pension age. Although this is not always the situation, often the elderly age state is accompanied by changes in economic and social situations. Often transitioning to being elderly presents challenges for those experiencing it, and the question arises as to the extent to which the use of social media can facilitate or hinder that transition. Using a social exchange theoretical lens, as well as that of self-determination theory and privacy calculus, this research was exploratory and qualitative. In-depth personal interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 20 Eurocentric English-speaking respondents who were over 65 years of age. Some were retired, some were partially employed, some had their own businesses, and some were employed full-time. The gender split was 50:50. The purpose was to explore the use of social media by the elderly and the motivation behind it. In addition, observation of the social media use of the respondents lent further insights into the interpretation of the results. The overwhelming use of social media by the elderly was for social engagement, and the general tenor of posts and responses was one of great positivity. That positive approach was largely driven by self-interest and the implicit understanding that if one posted positive messages or responded positively, there would be a resultant feeling of goodwill and wellbeing in the recipient, and that those well-meant messages would be reciprocated, leading to a feeling of wellbeing in oneself. Although elements of competition, providing purpose to one’s life, and honouring privacy concerns of others were additional motivators, the main motivation was for happy social engagement and feelings of personal wellbeing.</p> Val Hooper Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Insiders Versus Outsiders: A Comparative Study of Female Politician’s Social Media use <p>In the past, the media had a tendency to neglect women's issues, thereby restricting their visibility concerning development endeavours and political representation. However, this is changing due to technological advancements. Social media offers female politicians access to millions of users, freedom to interact directly with the electorate, bypass gatekeepers and opportunities for self-promotion. This research aims to investigate female politicians' social media use during their legislative terms with a focus on their self-presentation and the policy issues they support. The study involves content analysis of six female politicians from countries with a much lower female representation than their regional counterparts; three from Kenya and three from Hungary who have the highest number of followers on Twitter and Facebook respectively. The data was collected over a three-month period. The visuals were coded using 3 variables based on the insider and outsider perspective (Gulati 2004) while the text was coded in accordance with the 21 policy agendas defined by the Comparative Agendas Project codebook (Baumgartner 2019). The results indicate that a majority of female politicians in both countries, in the ruling parties presented themselves as insiders while those in the opposition presented themselves as outsiders. The insiders were majorly characterized by wearing of formal clothing, an important element of statesmanship, that portrays them as ideal candidates. In addition, the insiders' social media use was characterized by original content while outsiders reshared articles and retweets. Both Kenyan and Hungarian female politicians addressed women related policy issues. There were however some differences in social media use and self-presentation between the female politicians of the two countries such as the sharing of personal information and family pictures. The limitation of this study is that it does not fully represent the views and use of social media of all female politicians in Kenya and Hungary.</p> Tekla Illés, Zipporah M. Mwangi Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Navigating Parenthood Online: Understanding the Complex Dynamics of Sharenting Practices <p>In this paper, we focus on the increasingly central visual aspects of documenting and sharing family life as we examine how parents reflect upon “sharenting”, i.e. sharing representations of family life in social media. The aim of this paper is to contribute with an empirically supported understanding of activities involved in the social practice of sharenting. We ask: “What activities constitute the practice of sharenting and how do parents perceive, experience, and manage sharenting?” and focus on how parents engage in sharenting and how they experience and manage questions and concerns that occur as they share, and do not share, pictures of their children in social media. We draw upon a thematic analysis of twelve semi-structured in-depth interviews with parents of at least one child in the age of 1-10. Based on our data and in relation to previous research we unpack ambiguous and multifaceted reasonings on sharenting as a complex social media practice. Through rich descriptions and empirical detail, we provide knowledge on key activities involved in sharenting, and present findings following three themes: unforeseeable consequences of sharenting, social media dilemmas of sharenting and strategies for managing sharenting. Lastly, we show how these activities represent expressions of agreed upon idioms of the practice of sharenting and discuss the interplay between contemporary social photography, ICT, and family life. Increased access to, and use of ICT such as smartphones with built-in advanced cameras, leads us to believe that the practice of visually representing family life in a contemporary context comes with a new set of challenges for parents. As the social media landscape is constantly evolving, social media practices, such as sharenting, must be continuously studied to ensure the understanding needed to inform future design, policy, and regulation. This paper present illustrative examples of how this community adopt, make, and negotiate use of social media and the possibilities these ICTs afford.</p> Beata Jungselius, Maja Fröjelin, Sebastian Johansson Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Unveiling the Influence: Corporate Influencers and Employer Branding in the Skilled Trades Industry <p>The skilled trade industry is a significant driving force for the development and prosperity of society and constitutes the backbone of the German economy with its small and medium-sized enterprises. Currently, waiting times for craftsmen stand at approximately three months. This trend is on the rise due to the continued and severe shortage of apprentices and skilled workers. Potential trainees are representatives of Generation Z and best reached through social media channels. Consequently, many companies deliberately utilize corporate influencers in employer branding efforts to win young talents. Corporate influencers have the ability to present specifically job-related content and offer more authentic insights into the daily work environment. However, do they genuinely influence the career preferences of potential trainees? The aim of this study is to investigate if and to what extent corporate influencer influence the perception of the skilled trades industry and career preferences of potential applicants. To investigate the impact of corporate influencers on the perception of the skilled trade industry and the respective career preferences of potential applicants, we conducted a study with 66 students from a secondary school in Germany. (1) First, we measured the perception of the skilled trades industry and career preferences of the participants. (2) Then we exposed them to previously selected content of two corporate influencers from the skilled trades sector. (3) After the exposure, we measured the perception of the skilled trades industry and career preferences of the participants again. For the statistical analysis we used regression analyses and T-tests. The findings of the study show that corporate influencer on social media positively influenced both, the perception of the skilled trades industry and the career preferences of potential applicants. Particularly, insights into daily work routines prove to be effective. Simultaneously, the study reveals that the employer attractiveness of the skilled trades industry in general significantly influences the perception of the industry and enhances applicants' interest in craft professions.</p> Carolin Durst, Vanessa Klopf Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Social Media <p>Artificial intelligence is having a dramatic impact on a variety of industries, including marketing and marketing communications. Its use enables the optimization of marketing activities and increases efficiency not only within large corporations, but also in small and micro businesses. On social media, AI plays a significant role in content creation, post scheduling, campaign analysis and other aspects. Implementing AI tools into social media management can be a key element for improving the performance and effectiveness of marketing communications. This paper examines the impact of AI on social media from the perspective of using AI in an SME environment. It analyses the current state of the art, the authors' perspectives and the results of empirical studies. It concludes with recommendations for the use of specific AI-based tools that businesses can use in social media management.</p> Peter Krajčovič Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Social Media Narratives: Addressing Extremism in Middle Age (SMIDGE) <p>This paper examines the ongoing work of a three-year Horizon Europe project titled ‘Social Media Narratives: Addressing Extremism in Middle Age’ (SMIDGE). The project will cover aspects of the following areas: ethical dimensions, review of the literature (including conspiracy theories, misinformation and extremism online), co-designing of quantitative surveys, stakeholder engagement through qualitative focus groups, national nuances, changing technological issues, platform use and regulations. We take this analysis as a case study template that we believe will be useful to researchers in this field and potentially policy makers, especially from a multidisciplinary and transnational perspective. The project is split into four phases; Phase 1 - Understanding the landscape, profiling content and users, Phase 2 - Understanding the ‘attractiveness’ of the narrative, Phase 3 - Creating counter narratives and Phase 4 - Guidelines and policy briefs: spreading the word.</p> <p>We will unpack the challenges and opportunities of this approach for social media analysis and its real-world impact on democracy. Once the initial phase is completed in year one, we will start to construct counter-narratives to combat extremism in this context. This will take the form of creating counter videos and a documentary, as well as producing a series of podcasts and webinars. Furthermore, the outputs of the empirical research will inform and feed into the development of educational and training materials, guidelines and recommendations, as well as policy briefs that can be useful to policy makers, researchers, security professionals, journalists and beyond. The outputs from the SMIDGE project will provide evidence-based content, tools and resources that will directly help to counter extremist narratives from multiple perspectives. This will enable a greater understanding of the specificities and characteristics of those in the middle-age category, specifically those aged 45-65 years, and their vulnerability to extremism online.</p> Jason Lee, Sara Wilford, Raouf Hamzaoui, Nitika Bhalla Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Social Media as a Communication Strategy for Regional and Local Tourism: A Portuguese Case Study <p>Investing in social media should be seen as a strategic asset in communicating and publicising tourism. In fact, more and more social media, especially social networks, are a winning bet for communicating and publicising tourist destinations. Based on these premises, this research aims to answer the following research question: "What is the importance of social media, especially social networks, as a local tourism communication strategy?". To answer this question, we analysed the communication of two local institutions: on the one hand, a local authority, a public institution; and, on the other hand, a local accommodation, a private institution, seeking to analyse how local authority policies use social media to communicate and publicise local tourism. To complement this, the opinion of the tourist public on the impact of social media on their choices was analysed. In this way, we sought to answer the following objectives: 1) to understand the importance of social media for communicating and publicising tourism; 2) to describe the main digital platforms used for communicating and publicising tourism; 3) to ascertain the importance of social media as a strategy for communicating and publicising tourism in Portugal.</p> <p>The data obtained showed that social networks are increasingly being used by institutions as a strategy for communicating and publicising tourism. On the other hand, they are also a source of advice and decisions when it comes to choosing a tourist destination. On this last point, the opinions shared on social networks and the role of influencers as determining factors in the final decision and choice are particularly important.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> Marlene Loureiro Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Design of a Disinformation Awareness Digital Game <p>Social media is the digital canvas where users’ thoughts, ideas, and voices converge, and are being brought to the world. It is the environment where individuals and groups are connected and empowered in ways that were previously unimaginable. Nonetheless, the users are exposed and engage without knowledge or willingly to various social media manipulation mechanisms like disinformation and misinformation which have the potential to influence their believes, behaviour, and attitudes. Although social media represents a valuable arena for connectivity and expressivity to the younger generation, it also poses risks like access to sensitive information and exposure to altered or false narrative and misleading content which can shape young minds in ways that are detrimental to critical thinking and overall well-being. To combat these, it is crucial for families and teachers as well as the educational system to promote security awareness, digital literacy, and critical thinking to high school students. Since research and practitioner initiatives and programs are in an incipient phase to tackle such threats, this research aims to design a digital game for security awareness regarding broken authentication and social bots to high school students. To achieve this objective, a transdisciplinary approach is considered by merging methods from cyber security awareness, social media manipulation, software engineering, game-based learning, and computer science education domains using the Design Science Research methodology. This research strives to contribute to building responsible efforts that bring and/or strengthen awareness and resilience to social media security threats of adolescents to assure a safe digital domain.</p> Clara Maathuis, Frederick Janssens, Ebrahim Rahimi Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 The Possible Role of Digital Platforms in Information Operations <p>We have less knowledge of digital platforms in relation to credible information, news, and information operations among young people. While young people use digital platforms, do they consider themselves targets of information operations, false information, and news? The results tell us that young people use various digital platforms as sources of credible information and news. Young participants said they could never fall prey to fake news and information operations while trusting content creators, such as influencers on digital platforms, without verifying their agendas, backgrounds, funding, or motives. No one wondered if, at any point, any influencers might work for a hostile actor, entity, or state. Misinformation and disinformation, or fake news and information operations, did not concern young people. Confirmation biases were never admitted, since young participants trusted their instincts to find truthful information and news. The power of AI, machine learning, algorithms, advertising, bots, and influencers was discussed to a lesser degree. At worst, this has implications for democratic states.</p> Niina Meriläinen Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Exploratory Study: Social Media Impact on Mental Health Perception in Colombian Gen Z <p>This exploratory study aimed to discern and comprehend the social media usage patterns and their perceived impact on mental health among Generation Z students at a Colombian university. Employing a mixed methods approach, data were collected from 361 Colombian Gen Z individuals. A focus group guide and a self-reported questionnaire, informed by focus group results, were utilized to evaluate diverse constructs. Qualitative data underwent iterative categorization (IC), while quantitative data underwent statistical analysis using SPSS software. Participants predominantly utilized social media for communication and entertainment, with indications of a link between social media use and anxiety. However, participants did not perceive social media as significantly influential in their decision-making processes or relationships. Notably, female participants reported higher anxiety levels. This study of Colombian Gen Z freshmen unveiled social media's notable influence on body image, mental health, and social rewards. It underscores the necessity for tailored interventions to foster positive online experiences, address gender-specific challenges, and reassess brand engagement strategies within this demographic. Additionally, it highlights the need for further research within the Colombian university context. Though the employed instrument exhibited acceptable validity and reliability levels, future research could benefit from enhancements. This paper represents the initial endeavor to analyze social media consumption among Generation Z in Colombia through a mixed methods approach. Examining social media consumption patterns and their impact on mental health contributes to academic discourse on this relationship, informing the design of appropriate pedagogic strategies while considering reported gender differences. This study contributes valuable insights into the intricate interplay between social media use and mental health among Colombian Gen Z students. Addressing these dynamics is pivotal in formulating targeted interventions and strategies to support the mental well-being of this demographic within university settings. Future investigations should focus on refining measurement tools and delving deeper into nuanced aspects of social media's influence on mental health within educational environments.</p> Luisa Fernanda Manrique Molina, Camilo Andrés Ramírez Rojas Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 An Analysis of Online Bulletin Board Discussions Using Posting Transitions <p>Online discussion transitions were analysed as a means of furthering the development of critical thinking disposition of students and their attitude toward disaster mitigation. The discussion was organised as an additional learning activity during a fully online course. The participant's posted messages were analysed using a network analysis technique in order to promote discussion and learning performance. The posting chain was represented as an adjacency matrix and posting relationships were analysed. The results suggest that discussant’s activity shows a hierarchical structure, with some participants posting in response to lecturer's instructions. Posting participants were classified into several clusters, and these characteristics were analysed. Though single-posting participants were not active discussants, their characteristics, including their learning performance, could be readily recognised correctly during the analysis.</p> Minoru Nakayama, Satoru Kikuchi, Hiroh Yamamoto Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Thinking Through Targeting: Social Media an Effective Tool for Influencing People and Society <p>Every day, a wide range of stakeholders target us on social media platforms in an attempt to influence our decisions and behaviour. These stakeholders might be politicians hoping to win over support from the public and secure votes, organizations trying to convey the benefits of their decisions and actions to us as citizens, or commercials trying to sell us something. We absorb new media content, and it can be difficult to distinguish between fake and real news in this redundant environment with widespread data invasion. Beginning with the INSCOP opinion survey from 2023, which investigates Romania's exposure to propaganda and disinformation, our goals are to analyse how audiences were affected by the disinformation narratives in Ukrainian war context, and look at the current social media trends related to this topic using the analytical techniques made available by new media instruments. We want to highlight how social media is the main channel used in Romania for disseminating false information, and we also want to draw attention to the connections that can be made between those who spread false information and the traits of the individuals they are trying to reach. The present paper is part of a larger PhD research program that focuses on consolidating a society’s security culture through better institutional strategic communication; therefore, all the findings will be used to this end.</p> Daniel Ionel Andrei Nistor Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Exploring Social Media Metrics: A Comprehensive Literature Review on Assessing Post-Digitalisation Outcomes in Companies from a People-Centric Perspective <p>Assessment of post-digitalisation outcomes in companies remains a pressing concern for stakeholders in industry, and metrics from social media engagements could offer valuable insights that may be beneficial from a people-centric perspective. Yet, there remains a significant lack of comprehensive exploration of these metrics. This review evaluates the state of the art of academic literature on the subject of social media engagement as evaluative indicators of the outcome of digitalisation in companies. Drawing from a people-centric perspective, a qualitative methodological approach examined peer-reviewed articles selected for the literature review. Results underscore the nuanced interplay between social media engagement metrics and post-digitalisation outcomes and offers valuable theoretical and practical insights beneficial to stakeholders both in industry and the academia. The study concludes by advocating for a deeper, more industry-specific exploration of engagement metrics in assessing post-digitalisation outcomes in companies.</p> Fortune Nwaiwu, Linda Newnes, Susan Lattanzio Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Exploring the Potential and Challenges of WhatsApp Focus Groups in Qualitative Consumer Research: A Case Study of Sustainable Eating <p>The emergence of digital technologies has opened new methods for engaging consumers, conducting focus groups, and gathering research material online. One such method is the use of smartphone-based mobile messaging platform WhatsApp, which allows real-time discussions and diary-type studies. Nevertheless, the potential of WhatsApp focus groups as a research method necessitates further exploration. This paper analyses the advantages and limitations of employing WhatsApp-based focus groups in qualitative consumer studies related to sustainable eating. Specifically, we will examine the effectiveness, interaction, and quality of research materials obtained through this method in previous studies. To carry out our study, we organized a focus group in Finland utilizing the WhatsApp-based platform with a pre-selected panel of 24 participants. The study explored barriers to sustainable food choices among so-called imperfect consumer segments. Based on our observations, mobile focus groups offer a fruitful method for studying consumer insights due to the direct and non-hierarchical communication channels they provide between participants and researchers. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that materials acquired through mobile groups may be less extensive than those obtained through traditional focus groups. Participants often rely on emojis and emoticons to convey meaning, which may pose challenges in terms of text-based coding, categorization, and software utilization. Furthermore, the fragmented nature of messages presented another challenge in analysing the collected material. Additionally, when employing WhatsApp focus groups as a method, careful preparation of the question route is necessary to ensure the production of high-quality research materials.</p> Virpi Oksman, tom tamlander, Marjoriikka Ylisiurua, Anu Seisto Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Exploring Content Moderation Research: Insights from a Bibliometric Analysis <p>Rapid technological advances have intensified user-content interactions, leading to real-world consequences and the implementation of complex regulation mechanisms such as AI filtering and industrial and user moderation. This study aims to introduce the contemporary topics surrounding the subject by comprehensively examining the content moderation research by conducting a bibliometric analysis of 202 publications between 2016 and 2023 from the Web of Science and Scopus databases. This study aims to identify the influential authors, universities, countries, journals, funding agencies, network maps of keywords, and co-authorship. The findings of this study demonstrate that the Queensland University of Technology is the most influential in the field. The United States of America, England, and Australia are the most productive countries. The National Science Foundation and the European Research Council are the most supporting funding institutions. New Media &amp; Society, Social Media + Society, and Big Data &amp; Society are the most influential journals. Ysabel Gerrard is the most productive author. Seven clusters occur in author collaboration networks. The network map of the keywords suggests that researchers mainly focus on social media; Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are the most investigated platforms. There is a shift from transparency to hate speech and misinformation among the research themes. The academic research has exhibited a consistent upward trajectory since 2016. Given the demonstrable momentum of interest in this field, it is reasonable to anticipate a further increase in research with a diverse array of academic disciplines.</p> Ozlem Ozan, Ali Rıza Sadıkzade Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Summarizing User Comments on Social Media Using Transformers <p>Social media and smart technology have invaded our daily lives. They are increasingly used to express feelings and opinions, to publish news, to support public debates on various issues and events. User comments under each post are a key factor in making economic, political and business decisions. Managing their sheer volume is an almost impossible task. Therefore, summarization seems crucial. Recent years have shown that abstractive summarization has achieved great results in the field of document summarization by producing more human-like summaries. Unlike formal documents, social media conversations face four challenges: 1) tend to be informal, consisting of slang expressions and special characters, 2) show deviations from the original theme and dependencies on previous opinions, 3) since they are short, they lack lexical richness and, 4) contain redundant and repetitive information, resulting in confusion among readers. We address these challenges by developing a system that generates abstractive summaries from pools of user comments under a specific social media post, using Transformers. Unlike previous works that do not rely on user comment pools and draw data from Reddit, Twitter or “Sina Weibo” platforms only, we use a Facebook dataset. We first reshape the raw dataset in a meaningful way for summary generation and we apply some basic pre-processing. &nbsp;Then, we define a task that deals with grouping comments according to the post title. A summary is generated for each group (pool) of comments. Our model is evaluated using ROUGE scores between the generated summary and each comment on the thread.</p> Afrodite Papagiannopoulou, Chrissanthi Angeli Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Uses, Perceptions and Impacts of Instagram: A Study with Young Higher Education Students <p>Given the evidence that young people have a very active presence on social networks, especially Instagram (Kemp, 2022), it is important to study this phenomenon and understand what drives young people to use this social network to share content, especially photos and audiovisual content. The study presented was guided by the following research questions: &nbsp;What is Instagram used for by university students? How does Instagram impact and influence youth perceptions regarding everyday life? From a methodological perspective, the case study resorted to a mixed methodology. Data was collected through a questionnaire and a focus group from undergraduate students from a public higher education institution in Portugal. The study collected data from 89 respondents, mostly female and aged between 19 and 22. The results revealed that Instagram is one of their favourite social networks and is where they spend the most time daily, mainly to keep in touch with friends and family and find new content. Participants affirmed that they don't use social media to feel accepted, validated or integrated. This shows that they use social media to reinforce what they already know and feel through the feedback they receive from shared content.&nbsp;Even though most state that they don't engage in getting likes, comments or reactions on their shared content, the participants in the study admit that this is a consequence and are happy with the feedback they receive. The study, although limited to a sample of students from a single higher education institution, enabled the researchers to understand better some engagement habits that currently take up little under one-fourth of the users’ daily time while awake. The sheer fact that users spend so much time on this social media platform daily, sometimes with little or no positive impact on other activities, has already been outlined as an issue worth tackling in future studies.</p> Salomé Morais, Telma Pereira, Rui Raposo, Teresa Gouveia Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Fostering Global Wellness: Harnessing Social Media to Enhance Cross-Cultural Trust to propel Medical Tourism Ensuring Economic Growth <p>The "Heal in India" initiative, initiated by the Government of India and fortified by a dedicated web portal, is the fulcrum of India's strategy to boost medical tourism. Apart from its impact on healthcare, this initiative is a compelling economic growth catalyst. By positioning India as a preferred destination for international healthcare seekers, the initiative stimulates foreign exchange inflows, creates employment opportunities, and contributes to the growth of ancillary sectors such as hospitality and tourism. Medical travel, a burgeoning universal trend, involves people seeking healthcare services across transnational borders. India ranked 10th on the Medical Tourism Index 2020-21, securing twelfth position globally and fifth in Asia-Pacific for wellness tourism. Accredited healthcare facilities contribute to this accolade, including 1400 National Accreditation Board for Hospitals &amp; Healthcare Providers (NABH) accredited hospitals and 40 Joint Commission International (JCI). The "Heal in India" initiative, complemented by a dedicated web portal, emphasizes the Indian government's commitment to medical tourism. Developing trust among likely medical tourists is quintessential as it creates confidence in the quality, safety, ethical standards and transparency of healthcare, overwhelmingly influencing the choice of medical tourism destination. Social media can nurture trust among potential medical tourists, in some way contributing to economic growth in medical tourism destinations by augmenting reputation and visibility, thereby enticing a steady influx of patients through positive word-of-mouth marketing. Trustworthiness authenticated through informative content that is transparent influences decision-making, leading to increased patient inflow and revenue generation. Adapting content to align with cultural subtleties builds trust and increases the appeal of a destination, expanding its clientele with an economic impact extending to ancillary industries. Thus, within social media, vital for healthcare marketing, this study advocates leveraging online platforms such as Facebook (Meta), Twitter, and Instagram to foster trust among potential medical tourists. Steered by Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory, which explores communication styles, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and individualism/collectivism, this research establishes a nuanced conceptual framework for tailoring social media content strategies based on Individualism/collectivism dimension. In individualistic cultures, content highlighting personal testimonials and individual success stories may resonate, building trust in the provider's expertise. Conversely, collectivist societies may favour content emphasizing community and shared experiences, establishing trust through collective endorsement. The dimension of indulgence/restraint directs content tone, with culturally attuned approaches aligning with societal values. By integrating these cultural insights into social media content strategies, healthcare marketers can effectively build trust, ensuring resonance with diverse audiences in the medical tourism landscape. This study proposes a robust conceptual framework aligning social media content strategies with cultural nuances, cultivating trust among varied global audiences. The synthesis of Hofstede's theory and tailored social media approaches emerges as a potent means to reinforce India's position as a preferred destination for medical tourism and advance the broader discourse on cross-cultural healthcare communication.</p> A S Poornima, Srikant Subramanian Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Municipalities and Their Use of Social Media as Communication Tools: An Overview of Some Current Practices in the Aveiro Region In Portugal <p>Social media has gradually evolved into a phenomenon that transcends its purely technical nature and has become an almost ubiquitous part of the communication activities of our modern society, playing an essential role in numerous sectors, such as public administration, where its potential as a communication tool has helped local authorities to develop agile and easily accessible communication channels with their communities. Traditional communication strategies using leaflets, local television, newspaper and radio advertising, and even the authorities' institutional website are being replaced by more engaging communication strategies based on social media. The research presented in this paper took up the challenge of mapping and analysing during a short period the online presence of the 11 municipalities of the Intermunicipal Community of the Region of Aveiro (CIRA) in Portugal in terms of their use of social media as tools for communicating with their constituents and others living in the region. The information collected focused on the municipalities' activities on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Particular attention was paid to consistency and coherence of communication, engagement, and shared content. An empirical study was conducted based on quantitative information collected over 30 days through a web-based web analytics tool, with further review of some of the data collected by the researchers directly from each municipality's social media profile. The results show that municipalities are engaged in developing communication strategies and activities on social media, providing audiovisual content is becoming more critical, and followers are more engaged with audiovisual content and issues less related to political and administrative matters. The information gathered shows that followers are more engaged with content about cultural and sports-related news and that there is still room for improving the use of YouTube for sharing information about each municipality. The results also suggest municipalities can improve their current practices by developing their communication team's new communication design skills. These conclusions have already been shared with decision-makers to help them improve current practices and design future communication strategies based on concepts linked to new media and transmedia experiences.</p> Rui Raposo, Nídia Morais, Teresa Gouveia, Ana Silva Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 User-Generated Content in Tourism: Could it impact Brand Equity and Intention to Visit? <p>The Internet has changed communication and created significant challenges for the tourism and hospitality sectors. Due to the abundance of tourist destinations available, competition is fierce. Therefore, destinations must devise strategies to set themselves apart and strengthen customer brand equity by providing informative and engaging content on digital platforms, specifically social media, with millions of users. Web 2.0 allows users to generate and distribute information through user-generated content and e-word-of-mouth as trustworthy sources for tourist information that can significantly influence travellers' decision-making process. Therefore, businesses must share pertinent information and incentivize online customer feedback on social media platforms where ideas and opinions are highly valued. These can influence a potential tourist's decision to visit, which makes them critical to destination promotion. Effective communication is essential in shaping consumer opinion and fostering strong customer relationships. This study analyses whether user-generated content impacts brand equity and visitation intentions. It utilized a quantitative approach, using a survey to collect data from tourists and potential tourists of Portugal's Central Region. The sample size consisted of 515 participants. The collected data was then analyzed statistically with the assistance of Smart PLS 3.3.2 software. Based on the results, it was found that user-generated content has an impact on destination awareness, perceived quality, and intention to visit.</p> Sara Santos, Sónia Ferreira, Maria Vasconcelos Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Effective Elements of Climate Change Videos on the YouTube Platform <p>In an era where visual communication is important, understanding the key components that make climate change videos effective is essential for improving awareness and driving meaningful actions. This research presents an overview of YouTube’s educational content on climate change, aiming to identify elements that contribute to the effectiveness of these videos. We used a questionnaire targeting bachelor’s and master’s students to learn about their preferences regarding the available videos and their beliefs concerning the use of YouTube as an educational platform. A curated list of videos was used to explore how students perceive their influence on personal interest and engagement in climate change. Accordingly, each student watched three videos related to climate change and provided information concerning their impressions. By reviewing various attributes of the videos related to climate change, such as the content structure, engagement, and similar, we extracted the essential characteristics that are associated with more positive reactions to these videos as significant educational tools.</p> Zeinab Shahbazi, Slawomir Nowaczyk Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 The Influence of Social Networks on the Purchasing Behavior of Wine Consumers in Portugal <p>The present study was developed to understand the consumer's perception of purchasing wine online, verify whether Social Networks are a good source of information about wine, identify the main sources of information that consumers use to search, and finally assess the importance of Social Networks for SMEs in the wine sector. As a methodological approach, we implemented qualitative and quantitative research, including an in-depth interview with a marketing professional from a company in the wine sector, providing valuable insights into how they manage their brands and the challenges faced by the company in the digital scenario. We also prepared an online questionnaire survey, which investigated the purchasing and consumption behavior of buyers and consumers of Portuguese wines. The conclusions of this study presented significant practical implications for companies in the wine sector in Portugal. Therefore, we also see that these companies will be able to add efficiency to their digital marketing strategies, promoting their products in a more targeted and engaging way. In a complementary way, by recognizing the crucial role of Social Networks, companies will be able to establish a stronger and more authentic digital presence, building solid relationships with consumers.</p> Manuel Sousa Pereira, Eulália Silva, Paula Oliveira, Alvaro Cairrão Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Customer Engagement in Educational S-commerce Communities: An Empirical Study <p>Many previous scholars have investigated user behavior on social media from multiple perspectives over the last decade. Studies have shown that people today regularly join online communities to find necessary information. Notably, we found that there are a large number of education-related online communities and community members in Hong Kong. In these communities, the majority of posts pertain to interest class enrolment, extracurricular tutorial class enrolment, organizing outdoor activity and parents-child campaign. So, what makes some posts more popular and appealing in this kind of communities? What motivates the interactive behaviour between posters and users? Nevertheless, there are few studies focusing on user behaviors in education-related communities. Therefore, This research aims to examine the impact of post content features in educational online community on customer engagement in online community related to education. Considering the trend of digital transformation in education after Covid-19, we also consider variables such as online vs. offline teaching and the availability of trial classes as potential influencing factors. Consequently, we have incorporated these variables into our research model. The research model employed in this research adopted the S-O-R&nbsp;(stimuli-organism-response) model, utilizing user trust as a mediating variable. This study adopts a quantitative approach and collects data in the form of a questionnaire. The questionnaires will be filled by active participators in education-related online communities on Facebook platform and some parents offline. The questionnaires gathered will be analyzed through PLS-SEM&nbsp;(structural equation modelling) utilizing smartpls. This research can bring value to the evolution of social media platforms. Developers can refine their algorithms for pushing posts based on the findings. In addition, the questionnaire can assist online community managers and users fast-track identification of trustworthy posts. Finally, posters are able to adjust the content of their posts based on the outcome derived from the analysis to improve the quality and attractiveness of their posts.</p> Jiajun Wang, Hok Yin Lai Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Privacy and Personal Information Protection by Social Media Companies in an AI era <p>Social media platforms have become vast and powerful tools for connecting, communicating, sharing content, conducting business, and disseminating news and information. The history and evolution of social media illustrates not only the digital society’s ever-growing dependence on social media, but also the downside to this reliance, namely the challenges of protecting a social media user’s privacy and personal information. As technological advancement such as artificial intelligence (AI) grow and impacts on the way data, not only personal but also product and service data, is collected, the spotlight is increasingly focusing on the difficulties in privacy and data protection in an AI-era. The discussion focusses on the misconduct by social media companies in respect of privacy and personal information and the lessons learnt from the way in which social media companies have dealt with social media users’ information. Since self-regulation by a social media company does not provide adequate safeguards that privacy and personal information will be protected, limitations to the collection, use, access, and storage of personal information must be imposed by means of legislation. To ensure compliance, non-compliance must be linked to a penalty and enforced by a government. Privacy and data protection regulations were formulated in a pre-AI era, and at that stage, the implications of the rapid evolution of AI on privacy and data protection were not foreseen. To ensure digital trust in an AI era, the legal consequences of misconduct of social media companies must be explored. Social media users must have control of their own data and social media companies must be clear about the kind of data a company will collect on its users, and for what purposes. The lessons learnt from past misconduct is also indicative of whether personal data protection legislation is flexible enough to provide for AI or whether specific legislation must be implemented as society enters the AI era. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes shape and AI gains prominence, the data legal landscape is evolving with compliance and enforcement being key to protecting privacy and data, addressing legal uncertainty, and ensuring trust.</p> Murdoch Watney Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Integration of Successful Customer Engagement for SMEs on Social Media <p>Customer engagement (CE) is a widely known and accepted conceptual approach to describing the engagement and interactions of social media users with brand pages. Research activities focus on the influencing factors and effects of CE on various platforms, above all, Facebook. The focus is mainly on the corporate presence of large corporations or specific industries. Pages of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), as the backbone of the global economy, are rarely the starting point for research. Therefore, the question arises as to how SMEs need to design their social media communication to generate a high level of customer engagement on social media. Consequently, this study aims to expand previous research findings on successful CE in relation to SMEs and derive recommendations for action. For this purpose, Facebook users and company representatives were interviewed using semi-structured qualitative interviews. The in-depth evaluation of the interview data was carried out using a qualitative content analysis based on a deductive-inductive coding procedure. As a result, six categories with various sub-categories that constituted relevant influencing factors for the participants and promoted engagement were identified. These are Management, the structure of the presence, general aspects of use, motives, content, reaction, and finally, process and background knowledge.</p> <p>Users expect a website to provide information, entertainment, added value, a personal connection, and the opportunity to communicate. SMEs already have extensive expertise in social media marketing but perceive topic acquisition and a lack of resources as a challenge. They all emphasise the relevance of images, product and company-related topics, and an authentic, informal, understandable communication style with humour. Posts should also appear regularly, be up-to-date and short, and have correct spelling and emojis. Finally, questions, prompts and links are engagement drivers. The added value of this study lies in the deepening of the CE concept in relation to the research gap on SMEs. In addition, the results are discussed regarding their practical implications for SMEs to successfully design their presence on social media.</p> Malte Wattenberg Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Hope on YouTube: Mixed Methodology Bridges Mental Health YouTubers and Viewers’ Perspectives <p>The need for accessible therapeutic solutions has been highlighted by the observed youth mental health crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeking solutions involves a varied pathway, blending traditional therapist-client interactions with everyday aspects, like social media, particularly YouTube, which is used for informal counseling and as an entry point to formal mental healthcare. YouTube mental health content viewers value autopathographies (APs) for interest and mental health professional (MHP) content for information validity, both recently increasing. Hope, a non-specific factor fostering therapeutic change and building the therapist-client relationship, is crucial in the complex pathway to change. Unfortunately, this intricate pathway is often overlooked in psychological and media communication research. Additionally, relevant literature lacks guidance on effectively leveraging social media for user mental health. This study explores hope levels for therapeutic change in APs and MHP content viewers, focusing on the content’s role in informal online counseling. Through a mixed methods approach, viewer hope is gauged through direct viewer surveys and indirectly through YouTube content creator interviews. Additionally, the viewer's perception of YouTubers within the informal counselor-client relationship is assessed, influencing counseling effectiveness. Findings indicate that YouTube's APs and MHP content can increase the possibility for therapeutic change for high-hope viewers in formal and informal counseling, underscoring the crucial role of the YouTuber-viewer relationship in informal online counseling. YouTube emerges as a valuable addition to an individual's mental health toolkit.</p> Stavroula Ziavras, Katerina Diamantaki Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Research on the Influence of Video Content Features on User Behaviour <p>Research on user engagement behaviours within User-Generated Content (<em>UGC</em>) video platforms is notably scarce, despite previous studies predominantly focusing on user-level information. This study contends that enriched video information holds significant value. Its objective is to provide a profound understanding of the influence mechanisms of video content features on user engagement behaviours within <em>UGC</em> video platforms. Combining exploratory and quantitative methodologies, the research introduces a highly detailed framework for video content features, covering both cognitive and emotional dimensions. The framework encompasses content richness at the video level and emotional features at the user level. Addressing user behaviours, the study encompasses liking, sharing, saving, and tipping, representing users' varied contributions to the platform. The triggers for user behaviours often originate from diverse motivational intentions. The research focuses on a dual perspective, blending user and video viewpoints when examining video content features. Utilizing linear regression equations grounded in social identity theory and emotional support theory, the study explains the role of video content features in triggering user engagement behaviours. Age and gender serve as moderator variables, exploring behavioural disparities between male and female users and across different age groups. Findings indicate that factors triggering user likes and shares primarily stem from the level of interaction in the comment section, while tipping contributions and video saves are influenced by emotional support during viewing. The study also reveals that sadness enhances user participation intentions, while positive emotions in video characters or commenters diminish user engagement intentions. Lastly, the research adopts web crawling through legally accessible interfaces as the primary data collection method, encompassing 435 videos from 25 food category video authors.</p> Zhiqi Pu Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Health Misinformation Vs. Facts on Social Media: Co-Occurrence Network Analysis in Bangladesh <p>The increased usage of social media provides a way to disseminate health-related information more quickly. Alternatively, sharing health content on social media poses risks due to unrestricted posting, enabling misinformation to spread. Regional social and cultural contexts influence themes in social media posts, underscoring the importance of understanding content and prevalent misinformation themes. This insight is crucial for tailoring interventions, resource allocation, misinformation detection algorithms, and policy formulation. We conducted word co-occurrence network analysis, creating and analyzing two networks for valid information and misinformation in Bangladesh. The prevalence of misinformation regarding natural ingredients and treatments in Bangladesh underscores the need for targeted efforts to combat health misinformation on social media. For each network, we computed metrics such as betweenness, Katz centrality, out-degree, and degree distribution. Furthermore, we computed the Louvain clustering algorithm to identify word clusters. A comparative analysis of both networks suggested that the context of words used in sentences was important and that both networks contained information about natural remedies or ingredients for health benefits. The misinformation network contained the word <em>raw turmeric</em> with the highest bigram frequency of 162. These natural remedies were stated as cures, and there was much misinformation and valid information surrounding common health conditions such as blood pressure. This was depicted through the word <em>blood</em> having an outdegree of four and seven in the misinformation and valid information networks, respectively. The valid information network emphasized the beneficial properties of natural ingredients rather than their supposed ability to cure diseases. This study provides insights into the distinctions and parallels between valid health information and misinformation on social media, considering their social and cultural context. It underscores shared semantics and bigram words between them, suggesting that understanding these differences can aid in addressing region-specific challenges.</p> Parinda Rahman, Ifeoma Adaji Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Professional Versus Personal Identities of Young Health Communicators: The Social Media Connection <p>The proliferation of social media in the 21st century has redefined health communication, facilitating a participatory culture where individuals play a pivotal role in shaping health-related behaviors. Social networking sites have also become platforms for individuals to express their identity through self-perception and expression. This project thus investigates the relationship between social media and preventive health experts’ professional and personal identities. The study will pay particular attention to exploring how health experts and communicators balance their sense of self in their online interactions. Therefore, this project aims to unravel the ambiguity of health communicators’ online roles, making social media a safer space for them and their audiences. These individuals carry the responsibility of preserving the health and safety of others, founded in their promotion of health advice, professional guidance, and personal lifestyle demonstrations. The study targets students and experts in nutrition, mental health, and fitness and exercise based in Norway. The scope of the project is restricted to Instagram due to the platform’s visual and adaptive affordances for self-expression. The research project is thus divided into three studies: The first study will apply the survey method to explore how content consumed by health students from selected universities and colleges in Norway may impact the formation of their professional identity. The second study will use interviews and content analysis to investigate the impact of the content posted and consumed by a select number of preventive health students in forming their ideal professional and personal identities. These students should be active on Instagram and have garnered over 1000 followers. Lastly, the third study will rely on a combination of interviews and content analysis to research online strategies applied by nutrition, mental health, and exercise and fitness experts to express their professional and personal identities. These individuals will be required to have over 4000 followers on Instagram.</p> Souad El Mghari, Merete Kolberg Tennfjord, Ragnhild Eg Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Swipe, Watch, Buy: Unraveling the Power of Product Placement in Short Videos on Youth Impulse Purchasing <p>Drawing from the Stimulus-Organism-Response (S-O-R) model, this research aims to assess the dynamic impact of short-video product placement on the impulse buying behavior of young consumers. A structured survey was administered to a sample of 328 young consumers, aged between 18 and 30, who regularly engage with short video content on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Reels. The findings reveal that product relevance significantly enhances enjoyment, thereby improving engagement with narratives that incorporate product placements seamlessly. Emotional appeal in content markedly increases this enjoyment, underlining the effectiveness of emotionally resonant narratives and visuals. The study further demonstrates that a robust product-influencer fit amplifies the authenticity of the advertising message, leading to greater content enjoyment for viewers. Crucially, it confirms that the perceived enjoyment derived from engaging with short videos has a positive correlation with impulse buying behavior among young consumers. These insights underscore the importance of emotional and experiential elements in short-video content, shaping the purchasing decisions of younger audiences. This research contributes to the understanding of effective marketing strategies in the evolving digital realm, emphasizing the necessity for content creators and advertisers to prioritize narrative integration, emotional connectivity, and authenticity of influencer endorsements to effectively captivate and influence the youth market.</p> Sinh Duc Hoang, Dao Anh Kim, Truong Phi Hung, Nguyet Minh Pham Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 A Comprehensive Bibliometric Study of Product Placement with an Ethical Emphasis <p>Product placement, also known as brand placement, has become a practice, in forms of media such as movies, music, games, cartoons and even social media. By increasing brand visibility and creating a sense of credibility for consumers it offers an avenue for advertising that doesn't feel like marketing. In this research study we have utilized methodologies to analyze the framework of the research field and the specific issue at hand by employing VoSViewer software. Our analysis focuses on a sample of 409 documents published between 1995 and 2023. The objective is to provide indicators including publication trends, citation patterns, notable authors, influential journals, and significant keywords. Additionally, we explore the reach of product placement research by examining its dispersion. This study contributes to both understanding and practical knowledge about product placements impact on consumer behavior brand management practices and social media platforms. Lastly. Importantly we emphasize the considerations that should be considered when implementing product placement as a marketing strategy, for any company.</p> Truong Phi Hung , Kim Anh Dao , Hoang Duc Sinh , Nguyen Dieu Hue Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Revealing Hybrid Threats: Vulnerability Exploitation in Romania's Social Media Landscape <p>Taking a deep look into hybrid operations characteristics, an important and omnipresent one is targeting vulnerabilities mode of action. As the global landscape evolves and challenges national security like never before, understanding the mechanisms state and non-state entities use to exploit vulnerabilities becomes paramount. By examining the contemporary geopolitical contexts, this article sheds light on the multifaceted strategies deployed by various actors through social media platforms to undermine the resilience of the Romanian state. Due to its geographical location, Romania is not only a major pillar for regional security but also has an important strategic role in maintaining security in both NATO and UE. Exploiting Romania’s security weaknesses may be the way hybrid actors pursue their geopolitical interests, ideological aims, and regional power struggles. At the beginning of the study, a short framework will be presented for the concept of vulnerabilities within a state, focusing on the security weaknesses that emerge from several domains, such as economic, political, technological, and in particular social susceptibilities, and how they manifest in social media. Following, the article will include methods and tactics used in social media, by various types of actors, considering the use of cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, covert influence, or economic coercion for a clearer image of the target-attack binomial. Furthermore, a short analysis of Romania’s exposure to hybrid threats will be provided. Starting from the research hypothesis that Romania’s geopolitical and geographical location is the key factor in establishing its vulnerability degree to hybrid threats manifestation, the main question that emerges is how to minimize its vulnerabilities. The methodology that will be used in conducting this research includes a short literature review of the concept of vulnerabilities within a state, as well as weaknesses exploitation through social media, followed by the case study analysis where we will be focusing on some of Romania’s vulnerabilities within social media. Through this comprehensive examination, this article underscores the significance of recognizing and addressing vulnerabilities within a state, particularly in the context of evolving global challenges and threats to national security. It emphasizes the strategic importance of Romania in maintaining regional and international security. The article serves as a wake-up call to the potential dangers posed by hybrid actors who exploit these vulnerabilities using social media platforms, urging Romania and its allies to take proactive measures to bolster their defense and resilience against these multifaceted threats.</p> Georgiana Daniela Lupulescu Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Hoaxes in Social Media: Can Game-Based Learning Beat Them? <p>In the digital era, people, especially younger generations, are increasingly turning to social media as their primary news source. Reports show a significant increase in the use of online social media networks and an increasing amount of false information spreading on these platforms. False information can have severe consequences, as seen in the recent US presidential elections, the Brexit vote, and the COVID-19 pandemic response. False news can lead to radicalization, fear, and anti-social behavior both online and in real life. Addressing false information involves more than just labeling or filtering it on social media platforms. Cognitive biases like confirmation bias or the echo chamber effect can lead to distrust of such labels. The most effective solution is prevention through education, emphasizing critical thinking skills. It is therefore important to encourage students to think critically to be as resistant as possible to the influence of hoaxes. Given that frontal education does not appear to be an effective approach to developing critical thinking, other alternatives need to be sought. Game-based learning is gaining prominence as an effective educational approach. It offers advantages like increased student motivation, a secure environment for experimentation, and the development of crucial skills, including critical thinking. Several meta-analyses showed that games can improve critical thinking, but the effect depends on factors like game genre, mechanics, instructional approaches, learner demographics, and cultural nuances. Our work is dedicated to the qualitative analysis of games enhancing critical thinking, especially in the context of building immunity towards online false information. Our primary aim is to thoroughly examine these games and their game mechanics and comprehensively assess their advantages and disadvantages within the formal educational context. We systematically playtested selected games based on criteria related to usability in classrooms. We found, that most of these games are strongly story based, typically putting the player in the role of a hoax-monger or alternatively in the role of a fact-checker. The games offer easily understandable game mechanics to support fast onboarding, and therefore offer an effective educational tool to discuss and learn more about the risks of increasing amounts of false information in online space.</p> Vajk Pomichal Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 From Passion to Pay Check: The Cyclical Practices of Influencer Brand Building <p>The escalating influence of social media influencers on consumer behaviour continues to captivate the interest of marketing professionals and academic scholars alike. Current literature examines mainly source characteristics, psychological dynamics, and content attributes that explain influencer marketing but there is scanty understanding the mechanisms by which influencers ascend to prominence. This qualitative study introduces the <em>Four E Framework of Influencer Brand Building</em>, explaining the cyclical practices by which social media users transform into person-brands within social media ecosystem. The framework comprises four pivotal practices: Exploration, where influencers identify and refine marketable personas; Exploitation, involving the acquisition of tangible and intangible compensation for their digital labour; Evaluation, a critical assessment of brand sustainability and content success; and Extension, during which influencers expand their brand presence across various platforms, adopt alternative personas, or venture into consumer goods to enhance profitability and reduce risks. This model challenges conventional perceptions of influencers as mere marketing tools by repositioning them as central figures in branding literature. The research draws on data collected from influencers and talent managers, providing robust insights into the strategic and operational aspects of influencer brand building. This not only bridges a significant gap in existing academic discourse but also furnishes influencers and marketing professionals with actionable strategies to enhance their brand-building endeavours.</p> Emrah Solak Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Fandom in Action: Online Mobilisation of Thai Youth in the 2020-2021 Anti-Government Protests <p>The convergence of social media with political communication and the emergence of celebrity politics have significantly altered the landscape of political participation, particularly among the younger generation. Yet, comprehensive research on online political fandom remains limited despite its critical intersection with politics and digital media. This study addresses this gap, focusing on the in-depth case study of the 2020-2021 Thai anti-government protest. It scrutinises how tech-savvy Thai youth, propelled by political fandom surrounding Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a Future Forward Party opposition leader, harnessed social media and pre-existing online networks to organise these anti-government protests. Despite lacking a formal hierarchy, their organisational prowess, especially in information dissemination, highlights the intricate interplay of political fandom, social media, and youth mobilisation. By employing a trace interview method and conducting semi-structured interviews, the study explores how political fans transitioned from online engagement to active protest participation. The evidence contributes to a nuanced understanding of how fandom culture shapes their political judgment and behaviour. Participants in this study are political fans who publicly engage with politics on social media and participate in large-scale protests offline. They were recruited through a two-step process: first, the Twitter API identified users with high engagement in political fandom and anti-government hashtags. Then, a snowball sampling method extended the participant pool based on referrals from initial interviewees. A thematic analysis was conducted on the interview transcripts. The initial findings indicate that the influence of charismatic political figures, the empowerment of the fan community, and the belief that online political expression is ineffective draw participants toward offline participation. The resemblance between the political fandom of Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and the more mainstream popular fandoms highlights the importance of considering the role of popular culture influences in shaping people’s political behaviours, particularly in contemporary digital communication technologies. In conclusion, this study aims to uncover the intricate relationship between political fandoms, social media, and offline activism and to emphasise the pervasive influence of popular culture on political behaviours in the digital age.</p> Ploykamol Suwantawit Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 ‘It’s Just Pictures’: The Death of Social Photography as we Know it <p>The widespread adoption of smartphones and increased use of social media has changed how people document and share their everyday lives. As social media has evolved over the last decade, so has social photography practice. In this short paper, we discuss this evolution in relation to our work in progress within an ongoing longitudinal qualitative study spanning over ten years. In this project, we have conducted semi-structured interviews with the same group of informants in 2012, 2017 and 2022. This methodological approach has allowed us to examine how social media users reflect on experience, use and practice. In this paper, we highlight how during this last decade there has been a shift in how people document and share their everyday life in social media. More than ever before, social media users of today are able to document and share snapshots of everyday life, keeping friends and memories close and easy to access. However, in the early days of social media, people were more active in terms of their own production of content and posting of pictures, while today, they share less new material. From our analysis, we discuss how our informants report a shift in how they experience social photography, from being a process of editing and sharing photos intensely, to a more passive approach where they describe taking a lot of images, but not sharing them on social media to the same extent as they did before. Based on one representative example from our empirical material, we discuss the implications of the development of social media platforms over this past decade, and how the possibility to edit and share with others ‘in the moment’ has transformed into something less social over these years. We show how social media photography has evolved from being a practice of editing and sharing memorable content, to being less interactive, and instead involving more individual consumption and reflection, as well as sharing photographs in smaller circles. While the claim that social photography is ‘dead’ is rather bold, we do believe that there is a trend towards a less social and more individual engagement in social media photography.</p> Beata Jungselius, Alexandra Weilenmann Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Interstitial Dialogues: A Phenomenology of News-Comments <p>This paper presents findings from a study that examined the phenomenological detail of the reading process involved in everyday encounters with news microposts. In recent decades, reading the news has become characterised by the micro-texts of social media, but the fine-grained detail of this encounter as a <em>reading</em> <em>experience</em> is often overlooked. In a series of reading exercises, long-form news articles and short-form news comments were shown to structure different reading experiences in terms of meaning and dialogue. These differences were linked to the specific layout of the texts within the website interface. The high volume of negative space surrounding the comments explained the dialogical mode by which the participant-readers made sense of these texts. The findings contribute to understandings of social media as phatic communication and challenge pessimistic accounts that link micro-texts to a decline in critical engagements with the news.</p> MJ O'Leary Copyright (c) 2024 European Conference on Social Media Tue, 21 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000