Dr. Jakob Svensson
Dr. Jakob Svensson

What is an algorithm?

How do media companies such as Google and Facebook use algorithms and how do these affect our lives as individuals, entrepreneurs, political and social agents?

Dr. Jakob Svensson, Senior Lecturer at Malmö University (Sweden), unveils the secrets behind algorithms and demonstrates how important it is to be aware of the relationship between technological development and social change.

Dr. Jakob Svensson holds a PhD from Lund University (2008) and has since then worked at Malmö University, Karlstad University and Uppsala University. Jakob’s research revolves around political participation online, which media logics prevail, and mobile phones and empowerment in the global south.

One of Dr. Svensson's most recent publications is 'kick-starting' research into the use of Instagram in the political sphere. Interaction on Instagram?: Glimpses from the 2014 Swedish Elections  aims to explore how political parties use Instagram for interaction when election campaigning.

One of the main attractions of social media platforms is their affordance of interactivity. It is therefore pivotal to study what kind of interaction takes place on official parties’ Instagram accounts and whether content-related characteristics of the images have an influence on interaction or not. Empirically the article is based on the 2014 Swedish elections, which were among the first in which political parties used Instagram during the campaign. These elections provided us with an opportunity to explore the first attempts of political parties’ use of Instagram. The results from this explorative study will assist in developing an understanding of the use of visual online communication in political communication in general and provide a basis for future studies on the fast-growing image-sharing service Instagram in particular.

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