Affordances

This week I decided to dive deep into the world of one of the most loved and most hated teen on social media. While I am not exactly proud to admit that I follow all of the Kardashians on most most of their social media platforms, I find myself unable to look away as they display their luxurious lives all over the internet for the world to see.

The main thing I discovered when looking Kylie Jenner’s tweets and scrolling through her 5262 post Instagram feed was the fact that she uses both platforms mainly for marketing. Of the 42 picture she has posted to Instagram over the past month, over half of them have been self-promotion for her lip kits, clothing line and new TV show as well as endorsement ads for other brands broadcasted out to her 96.3 million followers. She also self-promotes through the use of Twitter. Tweeting photos of her latest beauty products, tweeting links to all of her merchandise and re-tweeting good customer reviews.

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 11.37.31 PM
Screenshots of Kylie’s Instagram and Twitter accounts

Ian Hutchby’s article argues that, “affordances are functional and relational aspects which frame, while not determining, the possibilities for agents action in relation to an object. In this way, technologies can be understood as artefacts which may be both shaped by and shaping the practices humans use in interaction with and around them.” 

This is very relevant to the way Kylie Jenner uses social media as she has shaped the way she uses Instagram and Twitter to her advantage as a celebrity. Both apps have allowed her to gain success through promotion. The main difference between the two platforms is that the affordances of Instagram have allowed Kylie to share very posed photos that look appealing to her audience in order to gain her likes and ultimately sales with little interaction with consumers. The affordances of Twitter allow Kylie to directly engage with her fans and consumers as they are able to directly tweet her on a platform where she is able to respond and be social with them on a daily basis.

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