Sharing and social media: The decline of a keyword?

Sharing and social media: The decline of a keyword?

Abstract:

This article revisits claims made a decade ago about the importance of the word “sharing” in the context of social network sites (SNSs). Based on an analysis of the home pages of 61 SNSs between the years 2011 and 2020, the findings incontrovertibly show that “sharing” has lost its central place in the terminology employed by social media platforms in their self-presentation. Where in the mid-2000s SNSs relied heavily on a rhetoric of sharing to promote their services, by 2020, this rhetoric had been almost entirely dropped. The research reported here implies that social media platforms no longer feel a need or desire to be associated with these cultural beliefs. Given this, questions are raised as to whether “sharing” remains a keyword for social media.

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