Proposal Title

“Stick Around to Support the Channel”: Comparing Intimacy and Live-Streaming Across Platforms

Start Date

June 2022

End Date

June 2022

Abstract

With live-streaming capabilities becoming increasingly important to the success of social media applications like TikTok and Instagram, as well as representing central modes of engagement for popular sites and applications like Twitch, the differing economic and socio-political functions of live-streaming are critical to an understanding of changing new media landscapes. Drawing from the existing literature about affective functions of live-streaming on platforms like Twitch (Hilvert-Bruce et. al. 2018, de Wit et. al. 2020, Ruberg and Lark 2020), this paper asks how embodied and emotional intimacies manifest across the designs of live-streaming platforms. How do platforms incentivize live-streaming for both viewers and creators via design choices, and what does this mean for an understanding of the affective investments that users of all kinds have in live-streaming?

Expanding on research that analyzes some of the economic exchanges common on platforms like Twitch and TikTok (Pollack et. al. 2020, Ross and Logi 2021, Yoganathan et. al. 2021), I focus in this paper on examining the design-based affordances of live-streaming on Twitch, TikTok, and Instagram. In the process, I ask how these capabilities (to pay streamers via subscriptions or gift systems, to “heart,” follow, comment, and so on) are reflective of the varying ways that intimacy is both created and understood in live-streaming contexts. This work will contribute to an understanding of the affective investments that users have, express, and create across various new media platforms.

Bio

Kelsey Cummings is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Communication at Tulane University. Her research on new media and identity has been published in the journals Television & New Media, Feminist Media Studies, Social Media + Society, and Studies in the Fantastic. Kelsey’s current book project is about whiteness and social media design. She earned her PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jun 24th, 3:00 PM Jun 24th, 4:30 PM

“Stick Around to Support the Channel”: Comparing Intimacy and Live-Streaming Across Platforms

With live-streaming capabilities becoming increasingly important to the success of social media applications like TikTok and Instagram, as well as representing central modes of engagement for popular sites and applications like Twitch, the differing economic and socio-political functions of live-streaming are critical to an understanding of changing new media landscapes. Drawing from the existing literature about affective functions of live-streaming on platforms like Twitch (Hilvert-Bruce et. al. 2018, de Wit et. al. 2020, Ruberg and Lark 2020), this paper asks how embodied and emotional intimacies manifest across the designs of live-streaming platforms. How do platforms incentivize live-streaming for both viewers and creators via design choices, and what does this mean for an understanding of the affective investments that users of all kinds have in live-streaming?

Expanding on research that analyzes some of the economic exchanges common on platforms like Twitch and TikTok (Pollack et. al. 2020, Ross and Logi 2021, Yoganathan et. al. 2021), I focus in this paper on examining the design-based affordances of live-streaming on Twitch, TikTok, and Instagram. In the process, I ask how these capabilities (to pay streamers via subscriptions or gift systems, to “heart,” follow, comment, and so on) are reflective of the varying ways that intimacy is both created and understood in live-streaming contexts. This work will contribute to an understanding of the affective investments that users have, express, and create across various new media platforms.