Twitter issue response hashtags as affordances for momentary connectedness

Chamil Rathnayake, Daniel D. Suthers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
97 Downloads (Pure)


Framing online collective behaviour within theoretical frameworks developed to describe offline phenomena is common in social media studies. This can limit the scope of analysis, because the interplay between user capabilities, intentions, and platform architecture makes online exchanges different from offline interaction. We introduce a novel conception of online publicness, momentary connectedness, which is a structure of polymorphic computer-mediated sociality that includes transactive as well as non-transactive phenomenological online activity. We suggest that Twitter issue-response hashtags can be seen as affordances for momentary connectedness where Tweets that display broad and vague audience dimensions, as well as clusters with different interactional orientations co-exist within the same topical network. We illustrate this polymorphism of momentary connectedness with a case study of an issue-response network.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Media + Society
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2018


  • social media
  • publics
  • communities
  • momentary connectedness

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