"WhatsApp is for family; Messenger is for friends": Communication Places in App Ecosystems

Midas Nouwens 1 Carla Griggio 1 Wendy E. Mackay 1
1 EX-SITU - Extreme Interaction
LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, Inria Saclay - Ile de France
Abstract : Today's users communicate via multiple apps, even when they offer almost identical functionality. We studied how and why users distribute their contacts within their app ecosystem. We found that the contacts in an app affect a user's conversations with other contacts, their communication patterns in the app, and the quality of their social relationships. Users appropriate the features and technical constraints of their apps to create idiosyncratic communication places, each with its own re-cursively defined membership rules, perceived purposes, and emotional connotations. Users also shift the boundaries of their communication places to accommodate changes in their contacts' behaviour, the dynamics of their relationships, and the restrictions of the technology. We argue that communication apps should support creating multiple communication places within the same app, relocating conversations across apps, and accessing functionality from other apps.
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Midas Nouwens, Carla Griggio, Wendy E. Mackay. "WhatsApp is for family; Messenger is for friends": Communication Places in App Ecosystems. CHI '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2017, Denver, United States. pp.727 - 735, ⟨10.1145/3025453.3025484⟩. ⟨hal-01614125⟩

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