Content Analysis of Twitter

Big data, big studies

Authored by: Cornelia Brantner , Jürgen Pfeffer

The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138283053
eBook ISBN: 9781315270449
Adobe ISBN:


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With billions of users and hundreds of millions of posts and tweets per day, social media’s big data have attracted the attention of the social sciences. This opens up unprecedented possibilities, but also necessities, to the introduction of automated analyses in order to extract meaning and gain orientation in this mass of communications. In recent years, Twitter has attracted growing attention from researchers in many disciplines. In their literature review of Twitter research, Williams et al. 2013 found 575 academic papers published between 2007 and 2011 focused on Twitter. In their literature review of journal articles on Twitter published between 2007 and 2012, Zimmer and Proferes 2014 found that of the total 382 papers analyzed, the majority (59%) stemmed from computer science or information science scholars, but communications scholars came third, accounting for 14% of the Twitter publications. And since 2012, the last year captured by the study of Zimmer and Proferes 2014, communication research on Twitter has been further refined, especially in the field of journalism research.

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