The influence of global digital platforms today has brought attention to their growing significance as critical infrastructures of urban societies. This paper addresses the different ways that platforms are coming into focus, evidenced by growing literatures on platform capitalism, the platform society, platform surveillance, and platform urbanism. Navigating this platform pivot, I discuss the way platform influence is predominantly linked to processes of data-driven commodification and value extraction, as demonstrated by the global growth of major platforms such as Google, Facebook, Uber, and Amazon. But at the level of the everyday, platform influence also shapes socio-spatial experience through intentional design tactics designed to facilitate highly participatory ecosystems of interaction. I argue that by instituting relational dynamics between code, commerce, and corporeality, platforms remediate the “technological everyday” in powerful ways. This perspective points to the need for diverse epistemologies through which to critically reflect on the geographical implications of this pivot towards platforms.
Barns, S. (2019). Negotiating the platform pivot: From participatory digital ecosystems to infrastructures of everyday life. Geography Compass, 13(9). https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12464