Instagrammatics: Analysing Visual Social Media Workshop

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Held at the CCI Digital Methods Summer School, February 2016. Run by Dr Tim Highfield and Dr Tama Leaver.

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  • As you explore, consider the following (to discuss with the group):
    At first glance, what’s here, what’s good, what begs to be thought about and written about?
    What additional data is needed?
    How do the images/videos relate to the metadata? (Can/should these be analysed independently?)
    What tool(s) beyond these basics would be useful in expanding your exploration of your area?
  • Instagrammatics: Analysing Visual Social Media Workshop

    1. 1. Instagrammatics Analysing Visual Social Media 2016 CCI DIGITAL METHODS SUMMER SCHOOL Dr Tim Highfield, QUT @timhighfield Digital Media Research Centre & Dr Tama Leaver, Curtin University @tamaleaver Department of Internet Studies
    2. 2. Workshop Overview 1. Visual Social Media 2. Meta Instagram: What we get from the API 3. Visual Analytics 4. Surfacing Tools for Beginning an Instagram Analysis Not on Instagram? Use Account: dmrcworkshop / Password: --------
    3. 3. [1] Visual Social Media
    4. 4. Visual social media Instagram selfies Tumblr GIFs Vine memes Twitter infographics YouTube mash-ups Facebook profile pics Vimeo talking heads Periscope live streams Line emoji Snapchat coffee/brunchfast … …
    5. 5. [2] Meta Instagram: What we get from the API
    6. 6. Instagram!
    7. 7. Methods Builds on Twitter Analysis … • Instagram images/videos include much of the same data and metadata as tweets.
    8. 8. From Twitter …
    9. 9. … to Instagram
    10. 10. Table 1. Instagram Timeline 6 October 2010 Instagram app launched via Apple’s App Store 12 December 2010 1 million registered users 3 August 2011 150 million photos uploaded September 2011 10 million registered users 3 April 2012 Instagram releases Android version 9 April 2012 Facebook purchases Instagram for $US1 billion 26 July 2012 80 million registered users 16 August 2012 Instagram Photo Maps launched 5 November 2012 Instagram Profiles for the Web launched 5 December 2012 Instagram removes ability for photos to appear as ‘cards’ on Twitter 17 December 2012 Instagram Alters Terms of Use 18 December 2012 Instagram reverts to previous Terms of Use after public backlash 26 February 2013 100 million active monthly users 20 June 2013 Instagram adds video (15-seconds maximum) 10 July 2013 Instagram adds native web embedding for photos and videos 6 September 2013 150 million users 12 December 2013 Instagram Direct messaging service added 24 March 2014 200 million users 26 August 2014 Instagram/Facebook release Hyperlapse app via Apple App Store 10 November 2014 Instagram enables photo caption editing after posting 10 December 2014 300 million users, 70 million photos & videos shared per day 24 March 2015 Instagram/Facebook release Layout app via Apple App Store 27 August 2015 Instagram adds native support for portrait/landscape (non-square) photos/videos 1 September 2015 Instagram overhauls Direct with threaded comments and ‘send to’ 22 September 2015 400 million users (75% of those outside the US) 22 October 2015 Instagram/Facebook launch Boomerang looping video app 8 February 2016 Instagram adds multiple account support and account switching
    11. 11. The (insta)grammar of Instagram i • Twitter ≠Instagram – Retweeting vs. regramming • DYNAMIC DATA – Captions and comments – ♥ – Editing after the fact – Tagging in comments – Commenting months later – Variable numbers of comments, likes, media…
    12. 12. EG: Essena O’Neill’s Edited Captions …
    13. 13. The (insta)grammar of Instagram ii • The RICH KIDS RICHES of INSTAGRAM – The Instagram aesthetic - filters! – Selfies! – Memes and macros! – Cats! – Food porn! – Emoji! – More cats! – Video! – Tagging! – Oh my!
    14. 14. API hooks as starting points • Tags • Locations • Users • Media • Likes • Relationships
    15. 15. NB: Privacy isn’t a binary … Individual and cultural definitions and expectations of privacy are ambiguous, contested, and changing. People may operate in public spaces but maintain strong perceptions or expectations of privacy. Or, they may acknowledge that the substance of their communication is public, but that the specific context in which it appears implies restrictions on how that information is -- or ought to be -- used by other parties. Data aggregators or search tools make information accessible to a wider public than what might have been originally intended. (Markham & Buchanan, 2012, p. 6)
    16. 16. Contextual Integrity in Ethics • Instagram may be experienced as private or partially private in everyday use (contextually), despite being public at a technical level (via the API). • The shift from an iPhone only app to Android and Windows phone, plus web profiles makes Instagram photos more and more public. • Researchers have to weigh intentionality in sharing, not just technical publicness (“it’s freely available online”).
    17. 17. [3] Visual Analytics
    18. 18. Studying visual social media
    19. 19. Content? • Framing • Styles – Selfies vs. POV vs. … • Tropes and norms – #tbt, #latergram vs. ‘in the moment’ media – #nofilter • People/animals/things • Non-photo media/composite productions…
    20. 20. And then? • Combining visual media with captions/comments/interactions • Quantitative studies? Mixed methods? – Colour/filter/etc. – Geolocation and visual presentation • And what else? – What is allowed (content, practice-wise)? What is not? (e.g. banned hashtags (#🍆), flagged images)
    21. 21. For example: #ultrasounds Table 2. #ultrasound tagged media on Instagram, 2014 Images Video s Overall Media March 3468 151 3619 April 3847 128 3975 May 3575 151 3726 3-Month Totals: 10890 430 11320 Table 3. #ultrasound tagged images on Instagram, 10-11 March 2014 Total number of Instagram media items 295 Items deleted or made private within a fortnight 19 Sonograms 221 Sonogram without personally identifiable metadata 145 (66% of sonograms) Sonograms with personally identifiable metadata 76 (34% of sonograms) Collages / Professional Photos 45 Social experience of sonogram 22 Selfie 14 Historical sonogram 4 Sonogram humour 4 Other medical ultrasound (not foetal sonogram) 22 Advertising 4 Irrelevant 7
    22. 22. [4] Surfacing Tools for Beginning an Instagram Analysis
    23. 23. Instagram’s explore options (For logged-in users, web and app interfaces)
    24. 24. Instaport.me Allows you to save the last 500 items for any given hashtag (or all your own images).
    25. 25. websta.me/search/
    26. 26. eg. http://websta.me/search/birth
    27. 27. gramfeed.com: Locations & Places
    28. 28. http://www.gramfeed.com/instagram/map#/-27.4516,153.0172/1000/-
    29. 29. http://www.gramfeed.com/instagram/places/784646
    30. 30. • https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/ToolDatabase?cat=DeviceC entric&subcat=Instagram • DMI (Amsterdam) – Instagram scraper – Instagram user network DMI Instagram Tools for Researchers
    31. 31. Make a start … • Choose a surfacing tool as a way to get started in exploring visual social media relating to your research interests (and compare what tools offer/do not offer)… – Instagram’s own search and explore options – Instaport.me – download (up to) 500 photos/video from a specific hashtag – Websta.me/search – explore hashtags – Gramfeed.com – explore location or place – DMI Instagram tools - https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/ToolDatabase? cat=DeviceCentric&subcat=Instagram – Login, or use dmrcworkshop / PW: --------
    32. 32. Discussion … A quick summary of what you looked at: – Why did you choose this? – At first glance, what’s here, what’s good, what begs to be thought about and written about? – What additional data is needed? (Can it be found?) – How do the images/videos relate to the metadata? (Can/should these be analysed independently?) – What tool(s) beyond these basics would be useful in expanding your exploration of your area? – Pick two or three images/media objects – how might you analyse them?
    33. 33. Would you like to know more? Highfield, T., & Leaver, T. (2015). A methodology for mapping Instagram hashtags. First Monday, 20(1). http://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v20i1.5563 Highfield, T., & Leaver, T. (Forthcoming, May 2016). Instagrammatics and digital methods: Studying visual social media, from selfies and GIFs to memes and emoji. Communication Research and Practice, 2(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22041451.2016.1155332. www.timhighfield.net @timhighfield t.highfield@qut.edu.au www.tamaleaver.net @tamaleaver t.leaver@curtin.edu.au

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