Conference presentation at Unlike Us #2: Understanding Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives. Session 4: Software Matters
Anne Helmond (NL) and Carolin Gerlitz (UK) – Reworking the fabric of the web: The Like economy. Conference Day 2: March 10 2012 Amsterdam, 11.00 – 12.30
In recent years, Facebook has increasingly expanded beyond the limits of its platform, first through social buttons and the Open Graph, and more recently through new possibilities of app development, frictionless sharing and differentiated Facebook actions. These digital devices allow Facebook to turn user interactivity instantly into valuable data, creating what we have described as a Like Economy. In this paper, we explore how the platform produces a very particular fabric of the web with its software design by focusing on social buttons, apps and actions. The introduction of social buttons and social plug-ins allowed for a partial opening of the platform as walled garden – carefully regulated by its Graph API – and led to an increasing decentralisation of the web. Yet, the new apps, sharing possibilities and actions introduce a recentralisation as content and user activities are designed to remain within the platform. By tracing the data- and content flows enabled between the platform and the web, we suggest that the Like Economy cuts across straightforward ideas of Facebook as a walled garden but instead creates complex spatial relations, organised through a number of new relationship markers beyond the hyperlink which create new multi-layered dataflows.
Blog post on our talk: Anne Helmond and Carolin Gerlitz Explain the Like Economy
Blog post containing the visualizations shown in our talk: Visualizing Facebook’s Alternative Fabric of the Web
Article Series - The status of the hyperlink in Web 2.0
- How Web 1.0 is the Issuecrawler?
- The Like, the Share and the (Re)Tweet as pre-configured links
- Hit, Link, Like and Share. Organizing the social and the fabric of the web in a Like economy.
- Are social sharing services breaking the web with data-rich hyperlinks?
- Social buttons are breaking search
- The Social Life of a t.co URL visualized
- Video Bobcatsss 2012: The Like Economy and the Politics of Data in the Social Web
- Track the Trackers and Watch the Watchers
- Visualizing Facebook’s Alternative Fabric of the Web
- Video: Reworking the fabric of the web: The Like economy
- Trackers gebruikt op de websites van Nederlandse politieke partijen in kaart gebracht