PLATFORM SPECIFICITIES: THE PLATFORM BOOKS PANEL
Keywords:platform analysis, TikTok, Instagram, WeChat, Tumblr, Facebook, platform specificities, platform cultures, affordances, features
Social media platforms shape our lives on micro, meso and macro levels. They have transformed our everyday practices as individuals, or social practices as small and large groups, and have multiple, entangled impacts on rituals of democracy and cultural (re)production, organization of labor and industry. This panel brings together five papers, each by authors of recently published or forthcoming platform books. Together, the papers offer an analysis of TikTok, WeChat, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook. Because of the book-length analyses preceding the panel, we are able to distill what is distinct and recognizable about these platforms – what we call ‘platform specificities’ and demonstrate how these specificities are shaping not only the experiences of the users of those platforms, but the social media ecosystem more broadly. The panel contributes to the ongoing discussion regarding platform power, social media and ways of making sense of social media, painting in board strokes plausible future developments to keep an eye on. The extended abstract holds a panel rationale and five extended abstracts for each analyzed platform.