Mobile Apps and Transactional Culture

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Presented by Dr Michael Daubs

Lectures, talks and seminars

Film and Media Studies Research Seminar Series

16th May 2019 12:00pm to 16th May 2019 1:00pm

Room 103, 81 Fairlie Terrace (FT81/103)

This talk outlines how the mobile socialising apps, Snapchat and Instagram, propagate a transactional culture that convert everyday interactions into opportunities for consumption.

This presentation discusses an “app-centric media” environment “composed of a multitude of concrete-but-connected software applications and their associated protocols, platforms, frameworks, and institutions” (Daubs and Manzerolle 2015, 53), and its connection to transactional culture. As Goggin (2011, 156) notes, apps are “a powerful platform for the action and movement of culture”. Transactional functions, increasingly embedded in app-centric media, provide a means by which financial networks and data interface with culture. These functions convert everyday experiences—interactions with friends and family, and even culture itself—into bite-size consumable chunks. Thus, while the “spreadability” of culture via digital, networked media is celebrated by some (see, for example, Jenkins et al. 2012), it also “spreads” a world of image, branding and consumption. In short, app-centric media capitalize on the perceived immediacy of interpersonal relationships to accelerate the spread of transactional culture that underpins or even drives spreadability of culture. This paper outlines the propagation of a transactional culture on two mobile socialising apps, Snapchat and Instagram. It outlines the way these apps can convert everyday interactions into opportunities for consumption.

For more information contact: Kathleen Kuehn

Speaker Bios

Michael S. Daubs is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He is the co-editor (with Vincent Manzerolle) of Mobile and Ubiquitous Media: Critical and Internal Perspectives (2017; Peter Lang).