An Analysis of Image Use in Twitter Message

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Image Retrieval, Image Needs, Image Use, Context, Social Media, Twitter, Information Dissemination

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Given the context that users are actively using social media with multimedia embedded information, the purpose of this study is to demonstrate how images are used within Twitter messages, especially in influential and favorited messages. In order to achieve the purpose of this study, the top 200 influential and favorited messages with images were selected out of 1,589 tweets related to "Boston bombing" in April 2013. The characteristics of the message, image use, and user are analyzed and compared. Two phases of the analysis were conducted on three data sets containing the top 200 influential messages, top 200 favorited messages, and general messages. In the first phase, coding schemes have been developed for conducting three categorical analyses: (1) categorization of tweets, (2) categorization of image use, and (3) categorization of users. The three data sets were then coded using the coding schemes. In the second phase, comparison analyses were conducted among influential, favorited, and general tweets in terms of tweet type, image use, and user. While messages expressing opinion were found to be most favorited, the messages that shared information were recognized as most influential to users. On the other hand, as only four image uses - information dissemination, illustration, emotive/persuasive, and information processing - were found in this data set, the primary image use is likely to be data-driven rather than object-driven. From the perspective of users, the user types such as government, celebrity, and photo-sharing sites were found to be favorited and influential. An improved understanding of how users' image needs, in the context of social media, contribute to the body of knowledge of image needs. This study will also provide valuable insight into practical designs and implications of image retrieval systems or services.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of the Korean BIBLIA Society for Library and Information Science, v. 24, issue 4, p. 75-90