“When the seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.”
Media, Interaction & Technology
People | Research | Publications | [email protected]
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Collaborators & Friends
Huilian (Sophie) Qiu
Yilou (Fernie) Qin
Head of Research
Institute for Multimedia Production
University of Applied Sciences,
–> research: News presentation on TikTok
Institute for Educational Sciences
University of Basel, Switzerland
Head of Project “Multimodal Interaction”
Institute for the German Language
University of Mannheim, Germany
Daniel Le Compte
Media. Our research focuses on mostly qualitative approaches to study the creation, consumption, and distribution of all kinds of digital media formats and digital media art by amateurs and professionals.
Interaction. We analyze social and cultural aspects of human-computer interaction, human-media interaction, and interactions of individuals about digital media and technology.
Technology. We are interested in understanding people’s practices and strategies in using digital technology to create, consume, and distribute digital media artifacts.
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# Research Focus: TikTok
# TikTok: Social Media & Content Creation
Creative Practices on TikTok. Why are people motivated to participate in video creation on TikTok and what are their strategies for making, sharing, and engaging with TikTok videos?
### We are interested in better understanding and analyzing users’ motivations behind participating in short-form video creation. For example, we conduct interviews with amateur users to find out about their creative practices when deciding to make videos, the steps they follow in video making, the rationales of posting and sharing videos, their understanding and imagination of potential social media audiences, and their sense of participating in community building through video creation and sharing.
[research example: NCA paper, 2020 (PDF)]
Understanding TikTok’s Algorithm. What are TikTok users’ experiences with and assumptions about how the app’s algorithm works and how do their assumptions influence their video creation?
### Social media algorithms are generally invisible mechanisms within socio-technical systems that can influence how we perceive and interact with reality online and offline. We apply mixed-method approaches, for example, conducting interviews with TikTok users and collecting video meta data from TikTok to analyze how users’ assumptions about the algorithm shape their online behavior when they create and share short video content. This includes, for example, looking at how users utilize popular sounds and hashtags for their videos to be picked up by the TikTok algorithm and subsequently go viral.
[research example: WebSci’21 paper, 2021 (PDF)]
Social Activism on TikTok. Why do users turn to TikTok for creating and sharing social activism content and how do they utilize popular and trending features for their cause?
### Just like other social media platforms, TikTok is used for many kinds of activism. We want to generate a better understanding about who posts social activism content to analyze the patterns and processes users utilize to carry out their work. We are conducting interviews with TikTok users and apply qualitative content analysis to look at personal motivations, community seeking and networking, and visual communication strategies in the context of social media-based social activism on TikTok.
[research example: CSCW poster, 2021 (PDF, preprint)]
[paper review in “Understanding TikTok”, Newsletter 47]
News Presentation on TikTok. Which print and TV news providers are active on TikTok and how do they adapt to TikTok’s aesthetic and communicative features to present news?
### Social media is increasingly becoming a major source of information, especially for younger people. With TikTok being the most popular app, we are analyzing the presence of U.S. national and regional print and TV news providers (legacy news and online-first news) and apply exemplary content and profile analysis to determine presentation styles and visual communication strategies.
[research example: MPCA talk, 2020 (PDF)]
# TikTok: User Experience & Design
Privacy Perception on TikTok. What is TikTok users’ understanding of the app’s privacy policies and how does privacy affect their consumption experiences on TikTok?
### TikTok has very long and complex privacy policies that users need to agree to in order to use the app, but more specifically: in order to have best possible experiences when watching short-video content. We are interested in users’ attitudes towards the inevitable trade-off between allowing TikTok to largely access user and phone data versus receiving highly optimized and individually catered video feeds as highly satisfying consumer experiences.
[research example: REU poster (1), 2021 (PDF)]
[sponsor presentation slides]
TikTok and Digital Wellbeing. How do TikTok users manage their digital wellbeing on the app and what interventions can we design for more ethical and healthier ways to engage in digital wellbeing on TikTok?
### TikTok user experiences are often characterized by endless swiping through algorithmically catered video feeds designed to meet users’ individual entertainment preferences. In this, users tend to get hooked on viewing habits and neglect digital wellbeing as part of social media usage. We are conducting interviews with TikTok users to analyze their viewing habits and their attitudes towards digital wellbeing as part of their user experience. We want to design useful interventions to create a healthier and more ethical ways of interacting and engaging with TikTok in relation to digital wellbeing.
[research example: REU poster (2), 2021 (PDF)]
Virtual Gift-Giving in Douyin Livestreams. What are female users’ motivations and expectations to send virtual gifts to male streamers on Douyin livestreams?
### In contrast to TikTok, the Chinese version Douyin has a much more prominent livestreaming feature and it allows to send virtual gifts to other users. We interviewed female Douyin users who make virtual gifts in livestreams to find out about the power relations between male hosts and female viewers and to understand the female viewers expectations of making virtual gifts on Douyin.
[research example: AoIR paper, 2021 (PDF)]
Publications & Presentations
Daniel Klug, Yiluo Qin, Morgan Evans, and Geoff Kaufman. 2021. Trick and Please. A Mixed-Method Study On User Assumptions About the TikTok Algorithm. In 13th ACM Web Science Conference 2021 (WebSci ’21), June 21–25, 2021, Virtual Event, United Kingdom. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 13 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3447535.3462512 (PDF).
Daniel Klug. 2021. Preventing Viral Distribution of Hateful Content on Social Media. Eradicate Hate Global Summit 2021. Poster Session. Pittburgh. October 18–20, 2021. (PDF).
Daniel Le Compte, Daniel Klug. 2021. “It’s Viral!” A Study of the Behaviors, Practices, and Motivations of TikTok Social Activists. ArXiv preprint arXiv:2106.08813. (PDF).
Huilian Sophie Qiu, Daniel Klug. 2021. MOTIVATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR VIRTUAL GIFT-GIVING IN DOUYIN LIVE STREAMS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research. (22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers). https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12194. (PDF).
Daniel Klug, Elke Schlote. 2021. Designing a Web Application for Simple and Collaborative Video Annotation That Meets Teaching Routines and Educational Requirements. In Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work . European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET), ISSN2510-2591. doi:10.18420/ecscw2021_ep15. (PDF).
Daniel Klug. 2020. “Jump in and be part of the fun”. How News Providers Use and Adapt to TikTok. Paper presented at Midwest Popular Culture Association/Midwest American Culture Association Annual Conference (MPCA/ACA), Minneapolis (virtual), Oct. 1–4, 2020. (PDF).
Daniel Klug. 2020. “It took me almost 30 minutes to practice this”. Performance and Production Practices in Dance Challenge Videos on TikTok. NCA 106th Annual Convention: Communication at the Crossroad . Virtual Event. November 19 – 22, 2020. arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.13040. (PDF).
Hongbo Fang, Daniel Klug, Hemank Lamba, James Herbsleb, & Bogdan Vasilescu. 2020. Need for tweet: How open source developers talk about their GitHub work on Twitter. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (pp. 322-326). https://doi.org/10.1145/3379597.3387466. (PDF).
Work With Us
The MINT Lab is a growing group of researchers and students from various disciplines and backgrounds. We are always interested in new projects and interdisciplinary approaches to analyze all kinds of intersections of media, interaction, and technology.
If you are a student, researcher, faculty member, journalist, or coming from industry etc. and are interested to work with us
simply send an email to Daniel Klug ([email protected]).