Facebook and MySpace class distinctions

On: June 26, 2007
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About Anne Helmond
Anne Helmond is Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture and Program Director of the MA New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. She is a member of the Digital Methods Initiative research collective where she focuses her research on the infrastructure of social media platforms and apps. Her research interests include digital methods, software studies, platform studies, app studies, infrastructure studies and web history.


danah boyd recently wrote an interesting article on “viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace.” She points out that class divisions have emerged and are being played out through aesthetics in Facebook and MySpace. I think this is one of the most interesting points in the article because I tend to “judge” the quality of social networking sites and the people on them just based on the looks of the site. I prefer Facebook and LinkedIn over MySpace and Hyves because of their clean aesthetic looks. The extremely messy look of MySpace and Hyves and it’s abundant use of smileys and animated gifs make the sites look “cheap and unprofessional” to me. I tend to see Facebook and Linked as professional sites because of their clean, elegant and crisp looks.

Do you also judge sites by their looks? Do aesthetics influence your choice in joining a social networking site?

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