Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology
Adoption of the major social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) has been comparatively slow in Germany, due both to the presence of home-grown alternatives like StudiVZ in the early stages of social media adoption and to lingering concerns about privacy and data security. Over the past years, however, adoption has grown steadily, and both Facebook and Twitter have become more integral elements of private and public communication in Germany. This paper builds on two major, long-term studies of the German Twittersphere and of the uses of Twitter in Germany for sharing news articles to provide a clearer and more comprehensive picture of the dynamics of Twitter adoption and use in Germany. It presents findings from a crawl of the entire Twitter userbase which has identified some nine million Twitter accounts that use the German language or are based in German-speaking countries, in order to examine the key drivers of Twitter adoption, and it presents several years of longitudinal data on how news sharing practices in the German-language Twittersphere have developed over time, to determine the most influential German news sites and identify the major drivers of news sharing in Germany.
Dr Axel Bruns is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He leads the QUT Social Media Research Group and is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and a co-editor of Twitter and Society (2014), A Companion to New Media Dynamics (2012) and Uses of Blogs (2006). His current work focusses on the study of user participation in social media spaces such as Twitter, using advanced 'big data' analytics methods. His research blog is at http://snurb.info/, and he tweets at @snurb_dot_info. See http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ for more details on his research into social media.
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