Twitter and Society


Twitter and Society
Citation: Weller, K., Bruns, A., Burgess, J., Mahrt, M., & Puschmann, C. (Eds.) (2014). Twitter and Society. New York et al.: Peter Lang.

ISBN: 978-1-4331-2169-2

Twitter and Society was released by Peter Lang, New York, in November 2013.

Please get in touch with me via email (katrin . weller @ gesis . org) for a cc version of the ebook.


Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has evolved from a niche service to a mass phenomenon; it has become instrumental for everyday communication as well as for political debates, crisis communication, marketing, and cultural participation. But the basic idea behind it has stayed the same: users may post short messages (tweets) of up to 140 characters and follow the updates posted by other users. Drawing on the experience of leading international Twitter researchers from a variety of disciplines and contexts, this is the first book to document the various notions and concepts of Twitter communication, providing a detailed and comprehensive overview of current research into the uses of Twitter. It also presents methods for analysing Twitter data and outlines their practical application in different research contexts.

“This collection of important work – featuring both well-known and emerging scholars from diverse disciplines – helps contextualise Twitter as a sociotechnical phenomenon. It will serve as a crucial foundation for new research while also offering useful perspectives for educators helping students to understand social media. By going beyond naïve stereotypes and revealing the complex practices and diverse users that help define Twitter, this book provides rich insights into the importance of social media in contemporary life.”

    danah boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University

“Talk of Big Data is everywhere, as contributors to this book rightly note. This timely collection, bringing together noted scholars and academics who work in the area, offers important insight into Big Data through a focus on the most important real-time stream message bus today, namely Twitter. Covering key aspects of Twitter social use and practices, Twitter and Society is a key text for providing empirical and methodological reflection on a fast-moving and important area of research.”

    David M. Berry, Reader in Media & Communication and Co-Director of the Centre for Material Digital Culture at Sussex University


  • Foreword. Debanalising Twitter: The Transformation of an Object Study.
    Richard Rogers
    (pp. ix-xxvi)
  • Acknowledgements.
    (p. xxvii)
  • Twitter and Society: An Introduction.
    Katrin Weller, Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Merja Mahrt & Cornelius Puschmann
    (pp. xxix-xxxviii)
    Download PDF (BY-NC-SA): Twitter and Society – Introduction (2014)

Part I: Concepts and Methods


  • 1. Twitter and the Rise of Personal Publics.
    Jan-Hinrik Schmidt
    (pp. 3-14)
  • 2. Structural Layers of Communication on Twitter.
    Axel Bruns & Hallvard Moe
    (pp. 15-28)
  • 3. Structure of Twitter: Social and Technical
    Alexander Halavais
    (pp. 29-42)
  • 4. The Politics of Twitter Data.
    Cornelius Puschmann & Jean Burgess
    (pp. 43-54)


  • 5. Data Collection on Twitter
    Devin Gaffney & Cornelius Puschmann
    (pp. 55-68)
  • 6. Metrics for Understanding Communication on Twitter
    Axel Bruns & Stefan Stieglitz
    (pp. 69-82)
  • 7. Sentiment Analysis and Time Series with Twitter
    Mike Thelwall
    (pp. 83-96)
  • 8. Computer-Assisted Content Analysis of Twitter Data
    Jessica Einspänner, Mark Dang-Anh & Caja Thimm
    (pp. 97-108)
  • 9. Ethnographic and Qualitative Research on Twitter
    Alice E. Marwick
    (pp. 109-122)
  • 10. Legal Questions of Twitter Research
    Michael Beurskens
    (pp. 123-133)

Part II: Perspectives and Practices

  • 11. From #FollowFriday to YOLO: Exploring the Cultural Salience of Twitter Memes
    Alex Leavitt
    (pp. 137-154)
  • 12. Twitter and Geographical Location
    Rowan Wilken
    (pp. 155-168)
  • 13. Privacy on Twitter, Twitter on Privacy
    Michael Zimmer & Nocholas Proferes
    (pp. 169-182)
  • 14. Automated Twitter Accounts
    Miranda Mowbray
    (pp. 183-195)
  • 15. Information Retrieval for Twitter Data
    Ke Tao, Claudia Hauff, Fabian Abel & Geert-Jan Houben
    (pp. 195-206)
  • 16. Documenting Contemporary Society by Preserving Relevant Information from Twitter
    Thomas Risse, Wim Peters, Pierre Senellart & Diana Maynard
    (pp. 207-219)



  • 17. The Perils and Pleasures of Tweeting with Fans
    Nancy Baym
    (pp. 221-236)
  • 18. Tweeting about the Telly: Live TV, Audiences, and Social Media
    Stephen Harrington
    (pp. 237-248)
  • 19. Following the Yellow Jersey: Tweeting the Tour de France
    Tim Highfield
    (pp. 249-262)
  • 20. Twitter and Sports: Football Fandom in Emerging and Established Markets
    Axel Bruns, Katrin Weller & Stephen Harrington
    (pp. 263-280)
    Download PDF (BY-NC-SA): Twitter and Society – Twitter and Sports (2014)

  • 21. Public Enterprise-Related Communication and Its Impact on Social Media Issue Managment
    Stefan Stieglitz & Nina Krüger
    (pp. 281-292)
  • 22. Twitter, Brands, and User Engagement
    Tanya Nitins & Jean Burgess
    (pp. 293-304)

  • 23. Political Discourses on Twitter: Networking Topics, Objects, and People
    Axel Maireder & Julian Ausserhofer
    (pp. 305-318)
  • 24. Twitter in Politics and Elections: Insights from Scandinavia
    Anders Olof Larsson & Hallvard Moe
    (pp. 319-330)
  • 25. The Gift of the Gab: Retweet Cartels and Gift Economies on Twitter
    Johannes Paßmann, Thomas Boeschoten & Mirko Tobias Schäfer
    (pp. 331-344)

  • 26. The Use of Twitter by Professional Journalists: Results of a Newsroom Survey in Germany
    Christoph Neuberger, Hanna Jo vom Hofe & Christian Nuernbergk
    (pp. 345-358)
  • 27. Twitter as an Ambient News Network
    Alfred Hermida
    (pp. 359-372)

  • 28. Crisis Communication in Natural Disasters: The Queensland Floods and Christchurch Earthquakes
    Axel Bruns & Jean Burgess
    (pp. 373-384)
  • 29. Twitpic-ing the Riots: Analysing Images Shared on Twitter during the 2011 U.K. Riots
    Farida Vis, Simon Faulkner, Katy Parry, Yana Manyukhina & Lisa Evans
    (pp. 385-398)

  • 30. Twitter in Scholarly Communication
    Merja Mahrt, Katrin Weller & Isabella Peters
    (pp. 399-410)
    Download PDF (BY-NC-SA): Twitter and Society – Scholarly Communication (2014)
  • 31. How Useful is Twitter for Learning in Massive Communities? An Analysis of Two MOOCs
    Timo van Treeck & Martin Ebner
    (pp. 411-423)