25.11.2021 CIS #20
Anne Helmond et Fernando van der Vlist

Le séminaire du CIS reçoit en visioconférence Anne Helmond (University of Amsterdam) et Fernando van der Vlist (Utrecht University and University of Siegen) le 25 novembre 2021, de 14h à 15h30.

How and why study platform ecosystems?

EN. The term ‘platform ecosystem’ typically refers to a software-based platform and the collection of (mobile) applications connected to it (Tiwana et al., 2010). It is also a commonly-used metaphor that describes the relations, and the relational dynamics, between heterogeneous actors within a specific environment (Mars et al., 2012; Haki, 2021). In this talk, we explore some empirical approaches to the study of platform ecosystems and reflect on how and why they might be of interest to media studies scholars. Specifically, we approach (1) ‘app ecosystems’ with a case study on the relational dynamics between developers of mobile applications (‘apps’) and the social media platforms they are built ‘on top’ of; (2) the role of Google and Apple as gatekeepers in a comprehensive study of the COVID-19 response app ecosystem; and (3) the ‘business ecosystems’ of social media to explain how data mediates value creation and how partners contribute to platformisation. Each of the approaches provides unique insights into platforms’ use (and development) cultures, platform governance, and power.

Anne Helmond (PhD University of Amsterdam) is an assistant professor of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam and a member of the Digital Methods Initiative and the App Studies Initiative. Her research interests include software studies, platform studies, platformization, app studies, digital methods, and web history. From 2017–2020, she held a Veni grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) for the project ‘App ecosystems: A critical history of apps’ (2017–2020). In this project she developed novel digital methods for analysing apps, app stores, and app ecosystems to understand the emergence of this new cultural form. Website: annehelmond.nl / Twitter: @silvertje

Fernando van der Vlist (MA University of Amsterdam) is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University’s Media and Culture Studies department and a research associate with the (DFG-funded) Collaborative Research Centre ‘Media of Cooperation’ at the University of Siegen. He is a member of the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam), the App Studies Initiative, and is part of Utrecht University’s focus area ‘Governing the Digital Society’. His research interests and expertise covers digital methods and internet studies, social media and platform studies, app studies, software studies, data studies, and new media and digital culture more generally. Website: fernandovandervlist.nl / Twitter: @fvandervlist