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Titel / Title Clustering social media and messengers by functionality.
Author / Autor Fischer, J., Knapp, D., Nguyen, B. C., Richter, D., Shutsko, A., Stoppe, M., Williams, K., Ilhan, A., & Stock, W. G.
Source / Quelle Journal of Information Science Theory and Practice, 2020, 8(4), 6-19.
Language / Sprache English / Englisch


The objective of this research is to analyze which functions make up web-based as well as mobile social media services and messengers. Services are clustered by their functionality. A total of 640 individual functions were identified, while investigating altogether 44 selected services in their web and mobile versions. Applying content analysis, functions were assigned to the services. The services were ranked by the number of implemented functions, and the functions were ranked by their occurrence in the services. Cluster analysis was applied to classify the services according to their functionality. Facebook and VKontakte were found to be the ones with the most functions; the most frequently implemented functions are support, profile, and accountrelated. Cluster analysis revealed six classes for mobile and seven classes for web applications. There is a noteworthy difference regarding the functionality scope between web and mobile applications of the same services. An example for this is Mendeley with 38 functions in the mobile and 91 functions in the web version. This is the first empirical attempt at clustering social media services based on their functionality.

Keywords: social media, instant messengers, cluster analysis, functionality, content analysis, function



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