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Following Searle on TwitterHow Words Create Digital Institutions$
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Adam Hodgkin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226438214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226438351.001.0001

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“Almost Everything You See Today in Twitter Was Invented by Our Users”

“Almost Everything You See Today in Twitter Was Invented by Our Users”

(p.63) 4 “Almost Everything You See Today in Twitter Was Invented by Our Users”
Following Searle on Twitter

Adam Hodgkin

University of Chicago Press

Twitter has evolved a great deal since it was founded. Users see this in the way that the tweets in Twitter have become steadily more complex and encoded. In the first year it went through an especially rapid evolution, leading to the development of an Application Programming Interface and the decision that every tweet should have a permanent link (a url). The first tweets had zero internal structure. Largely through the initiative and inventiveness of users, tweets became more complex and they were circulated or linked in creative ways. Users were soon able to produce much more than the basic tweet of 140 or fewer characters, they were able to reply to retweet, to favorite and even to delete their tweets. The chapter traces the way Twitter developed a range of editorial ‘verbs’ that users were able to apply to tweets, and Twitter introduced its own class of privileged content ‘promoted tweets’ that became the vehicle for advertisements.

Keywords:   basic tweet, editorial verbs, reply, retweet, favorite, delete, promoted tweet

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