Despite growing interest, there is a shortage of research about the methods and challenges that concern researching ephemeral digital content. To fill this gap, the article discusses two research strategies to study Instagram Stories. These allow users to share moments of their everyday lives in a documentary and narrative style; their peculiar feature is ephemerality, as each Story lasts for 24 hours. The article (a) explores how to bypass the Instagram API closure and (b) engages in an attempt at ‘circumventing the object of study’, taking advantage of how individual users archive Instagram Stories on other platforms (here, YouTube). In so doing, we contribute to the debate that seeks to innovate and ‘repurpose’ digital methods in a post-API environment. Besides the methodological utility, we show the tension between ephemeral content and archive cultures, and raise epistemological and ethical concerns about the collection, analysis and archival of ephemeral content.

From archive cultures to ephemeral content, and back: Studying Instagram Stories with digital methods

Caliandro A.;
2020

Abstract

Despite growing interest, there is a shortage of research about the methods and challenges that concern researching ephemeral digital content. To fill this gap, the article discusses two research strategies to study Instagram Stories. These allow users to share moments of their everyday lives in a documentary and narrative style; their peculiar feature is ephemerality, as each Story lasts for 24 hours. The article (a) explores how to bypass the Instagram API closure and (b) engages in an attempt at ‘circumventing the object of study’, taking advantage of how individual users archive Instagram Stories on other platforms (here, YouTube). In so doing, we contribute to the debate that seeks to innovate and ‘repurpose’ digital methods in a post-API environment. Besides the methodological utility, we show the tension between ephemeral content and archive cultures, and raise epistemological and ethical concerns about the collection, analysis and archival of ephemeral content.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1351115
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