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Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918


This article uses ‘interpretative flexibility’ as a concept to analyse the early development of one specific microblogging site: Twitter. By tracing microblogging’s instable meaning in its early years (2006–10), we try to understand how the platform’s meaning was shaped by a variety of human and non-human actors: technological design, usage, content and business models. By tracking microblogging’s instable meaning in its infant years, we may get a fuller understanding of how this new technology plays out in a complex Internet milieu of push-and-pull forces. Reconstructing interpretative flexibility while the technology is still in flux – and thus open to manoeuvring – may give rise to new perspectives on how power relationships transpire in a networked environment.


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