POLKOM-monday: Baking, Skiing – Governing – Exploring the popularity of personalized posts on Norwegian political Instagram accounts

POLKOM-monday with associate professor Anders Olof Larsson from Westerdals:

Baking, Skiing – Governing – Exploring the popularity of personalized posts on Norwegian political Instagram accounts

The Internet is sometimes pointed to as having increased tendencies of personalization in politics. While studies have gauged the degree to which political actors focus on their private or personal sides rather than on their more official or political sides in their communication, rather few research efforts have been geared towards assessing to what extent content that could be considered as personalized succeed in gaining traction among the online followers or fans of political actors.

The current study does precisely that, comparing the ways in which the content offered by Norwegian parties and party leaders is received by those who follow their updates on Instagram – a social media image sharing service. Results indicate that party leaders are generally more successful in gaining attention on the studied service, and that they offer personalized content to higher degrees than the parties to which they belong. While such content as posted to Instagram might lead to increased political engagement among the comparably younger user base of the service under scrutiny, the fact that personalization ‘works’ in terms of gaining attention might also skew political PR and marketing towards excessive use of such themes.

Time and place: 27.february in room 418 at 12.00-13.00 at the Department of Media and Communications, UiO.

Photos: Erna Solberg and Jonas Gahr Støre on Instagram.

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