CIS #20 Anne Helmond & Fernando van der Vlist

Réalisation : 21 décembre 2021 Mise en ligne : 3 février 2022
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The term ‘platform ecosystem’ typically refers to a software-based platform and the collection of (mobile) applications connected to it (Tiwana et al., 2010). It is also a commonly-used metaphor that describes the relations, and the relational dynamics, between heterogeneous actors within a specific environment (Mars et al., 2012; Haki, 2021). In this talk, we explore some empirical approaches to the study of platform ecosystems and reflect on how and why they might be of interest to media studies scholars. Specifically, we approach (1) ‘app ecosystems’ with a case study on the relational dynamics between developers of mobile applications (‘apps’) and the social media platforms they are built ‘on top’ of; (2) the role of Google and Apple as gatekeepers in a comprehensive study of the COVID-19 response app ecosystem; and (3) the ‘business ecosystems’ of social media to explain how data mediates value creation and how partners contribute to platformisation. Each of the approaches provides unique insights into platforms’ use (and development) cultures, platform governance, and power.


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