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Information 2016, 7(4), 58;

Studying Organizations on Instagram

Department of Communication, Marketing & Sales, FHWien of WKW University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication, Vienna 1180, Austria
Department of Informatics & Media, Uppsala University, Uppsala 751 05, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Muneo Kaigo
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 3 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Citizenship and Participation)
Full-Text   |   PDF [603 KB, uploaded 21 October 2016]   |  


With the rise of social media platforms based on the sharing of pictures and videos, the question of how such platforms should be studied arises. Previous research on social media (content) has mainly focused on text (written words) and the rather text-based social media platforms Twitter and Facebook. Drawing on research in the fields of visual, political, and business communication, we introduce a methodological framework to study the fast-growing image-sharing service Instagram. This methodological framework was developed to study political parties’ Instagram accounts and tested by means of a study of Swedish political parties during the 2014 election campaign. In this article, we adapt the framework to also study other types of organizations active on Instagram by focusing on the following main questions: Do organizations only use Instagram to share one-way information, focusing on disseminating information and self-presentation? Or is Instagram used for two-way communication to establish and cultivate organization-public relationships? We introduce and discuss the coding of variables with respect to four clusters: the perception of the posting, image management, integration, and interactivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Instagram; social media; coding; method; visual communication; organizations; campaigning Instagram; social media; coding; method; visual communication; organizations; campaigning

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Russmann, U.; Svensson, J. Studying Organizations on Instagram. Information 2016, 7, 58.

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