Audience management in social media: Affordances, cultural differences, and implications for privacy


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Poster by Sonja Utz & Jan-Hinrik Schmidt, European Communications Conference 2012, 25. October 2012, Istanbul

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Audience management in social media: Affordances, cultural differences, and implications for privacy

  1. 1. Audience management in social media: Affordances, cultural differences, and implications for privacy Sonja Utz ( & Jan-Hinrik Schmidt ( 1. Introduction 2. Conceptual background: Different audiences (cf. Schmidt, 2011)  Social media are blurring boundaries between Intended audience: Empirical audience: the private and the public those people the user (often those people who take notice of implicitly) regards as “proper content (vs. those who are inactive,  Users routinely have to deal with “unseen recipients” of self-disclosure or to whom content is filtered out) audiences” (Scheidt, 2006) or “imagined audiences” (Marwick/boyd, 2010) Addressed audience: Potential audience: those individuals or sub-groups a those people who might eventually  Technical characteristics of digital networked user is directly “targeting”, e.g. by take notice, e.g. due to specific communication – persistence, replicability, @-replying or posting a link “for all privacy settings scalability, and searchability (cf. boyd, 2008) – of you interested in music” complicate audience management  Intended/addressed audience will not necessarily be congruent with empirical/potential audience  RQ 1: How are audiences in social media composed?  RQ 1a: Are there differences between different services?  RQ 1b: Are there differences between cultures? 3. Context and content of survey 4. Potential audience on SNS vs. Microblog 5. Potential vs. intended audience on SNS  part of international and interdisciplinary 0,0 20,0 40,0 60,0 80,0 100,0 0 20 40 60 80 100 research network on “Privacy and Web 2.0” (cf. Trepte & Reinecke 2011) Friends  Online survey among n=1.934 social media other family members users from USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, other family members China, Hongkong parents  Field time: 15 Nov to 14 Dec 2011 colleagues expartner  SNS users: 92.0 % (Facebook: 83.5 %, partner 5.1 %) partner  avg. contacts: 388,12 ( 884,4) colleagues ex-partner  Microblogging actively: 24.1 % (Twitter: 67.9 %, Sina Weibo: 24.8 %) boss/teacher People Im interested in  avg. followers: 174,5 ( 478,5) friends parents  Looped questions, personalized for services used  Potential audience: “Are the following people "online only" "Online only" among your [contacts] / [followers]?”  Intended audience: “If you think of a typical people Im interested in boss/teacher [SNS status update] – who do you intend to address or reach with it?” celebrities celebrities  Empirical audience: “And who is usually strangers strangers reacting to your [SNS status update] , either online or offline?” SNS twitter potential audience intended audience 6. Critical cases and cultural differences Intended, but not empirical audience (% occurring / country) Empirical, but not intended audience (% occurring / country) American British German Dutch Chinese American British German Dutch Chinese Intended audience 100100 yes no 9090 80 80 “too much Empirical Audience yes 7070 attention” 6060 5050 40 “not enough 40 attention” 3030 no 2020 1010 0 0 boss/teacher parents romantic expartner strangers "Online only" boss/teacher parents other family romantic expartner strangers people Im celebrities partner members partner interested in 6. Conclusion 6. Literature  differences potential audiences on SNS vs. microblogging services:  boyd, d. (2008): Taken out of context. American teen sociality in networked publics. Ph.D. Dissertation, Berkeley. Online: SNS: mostly friends & family  microblog: more distant & more diverse ties [12/10/2012]  SNS: intended audience are primarily the friends, mismatch potential audience!  Hofstede, G.H. (1980). Culture Consequences: International Differences in Work-related Values. London: Sage.  Problematic cases of audience management  Marwick, A., & boyd, d. (2010). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined  intended, but not empirical (not enough attention): people I’m interested, partner and expartner audience. New Media & Society, 13 (1), 114-133.  Scheidt, L. A. (2006). Adolescent diary weblogs and the unseen  Chinese - celebrities & people I’m interested in => more strategic SNS use, less focus on close ties audience. In D. Buckingham & R. Willett (Eds.), Digital Generations: Children, Young People, and New Media (pp. 193–  British don’t get enough attention from parents/family members 210). London: Lawrence Erlbaum.  Schmidt, J.-H. (2011). (Micro)Blogs: Practices of Privacy  empirical, but not intended (too much attention): parents, people I know but never met personally, Management. In S. Trepte & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy Online expartners & strangers (pp. 159-173), Heidelberg: Springer.  Trepte, S., & Reinecke , L. (eds.), Privacy Online. Heidelberg:  Dutch & Germans: more problematic cases in the interpersonal domain (parents, partner, ex), less so when it Springer. comes to strangers  Americans & British: most often reactions of boss/teacher This research has been supported by the “Young Scholar’s Network on Privacy & Web 2.0” (DFG TR 498/11-1)  Chinese: strangers & people I know but never met problematic!