Audience Metric Continuity? Approaching the Meaning of Measurement in the Digital Everyday

Göran Bolin, Julia Velkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This article argues for an expansion of existing studies on the meaning of metrics in digital environments by evaluating a methodology tested in a pilot study to analyse audience responses to metrics of social media profiles. The pilot study used the software tool Facebook Demetricator by artist Ben Grosser in combination with follow-up interviews. In line with Grosser's intentions, the software indeed provoked reflection among the users. In this article, we reflect on three kinds of disorientations that users expressed, linked to temporality, sociality and value. Relating these to the history of audience measurement in mass media, we argue that there is merit in using this methodology for further analysis of continuities in audience responses to metrics, in order to better understand the ways in which metrics work to create the 'audience commodity'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0163443720907017
JournalMedia, Culture & Society
Number of pages17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 518 Media and communications
  • audience measurement
  • audiences
  • digital media
  • disruptive methods
  • everyday life
  • metrics

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