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Infrastructure studies meet platform studies in the age of Google and Facebook

Plantin, Jean-Christophe ORCID: 0000-0001-8041-6679, Lagoze, Carl, Edwards, Paul N. and Sandvig, Christian (2018) Infrastructure studies meet platform studies in the age of Google and Facebook. New Media & Society, 20 (1). 293 - 310. ISSN 1461-4448

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1461444816661553


Two theoretical approaches have recently emerged to characterize new digital objects of study in the media landscape: infrastructure studies and platform studies. Despite their separate origins and different features, we demonstrate in this article how the cross-articulation of these two perspectives improves our understanding of current digital media. We use case studies of the Open Web, Facebook, and Google to demonstrate that infrastructure studies provides a valuable approach to the evolution of shared, widely accessible systems and services of the type often provided or regulated by governments in the public interest. On the other hand, platform studies captures how communication and expression are both enabled and constrained by new digital systems and new media. In these environments, platform-based services acquire characteristics of infrastructure, while both new and existing infrastructures are built or reorganized on the logic of platforms. We conclude by underlining the potential of this combined framework for future case studies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Sage
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2016 14:26
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 05:33
Funders: University of Michigan

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