Social media repertoires: Social structure and platform use

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Abstract

We analyze how the size and composition of social media repertoires is associated with key sociodemographic variables: age, gender, socioeconomic status, education, and occupation. Specifically, we ask what is the association between these variables and: (a) social media use as a whole, (b) the number of platforms people include in their social media repertoires, (c) the platforms included in such repertoires, and (d) the most prevalent repertoires? To answer these questions, we analyze data from an in-person survey (N = 700) about use of media and communication technologies conducted in 2016 in Argentina by a polling firm. Our findings indicate that: (a) the odds of using social media are higher among younger people, women, those with higher socioeconomic and educational levels, and those employed; (b) whereas an increase in age is associated with a decrease in the size of the repertoire, higher educational attainment is associated with an increase in the number of platforms included in the repertoire; (c) age, gender, education, and occupation are significantly associated with the inclusion of different platforms in the repertoire; and (d) some of these variables are significant for the uptake of different repertoires, but not others. We interpret these findings drawing upon scholarship about digital inequalities and social media repertoires, and we assess and reflect on their implications for research on the digital divide.

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Matassi, M., Mitchelstein, E., & Boczkowski, P. (2022). Social media repertoires: Social structure and platform use. Information Society, 38(2), 133–146. https://doi.org/10.1080/01972243.2022.2028208

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