How do fan and celebrity identities become established on Twitter? A study of ‘social media natives’ and their followers

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This study explores the changing relationship in the digital era between celebrities and fans by examining a group of emerging celebrities and their followers on Twitter. Seven crime authors were chosen as a case sample, each of which published their first work after 2010 and might therefore be regarded as ‘social media natives’. The authors' followers were categorized according to their self-descriptions into various professional and non-professional groups (e.g., 'publishing industry professionals', 'fellow crime authors'). In some of these groups, notably ‘aspiring authors’ and ‘book fans/bloggers’, the performance of fandom was not always found to be uni-directional. Microanalysis of authors’ interactions with followers suggested that traditional media audience categories such as 'fan' have become looser in social media where all users are 'followers' and perform multiple identities. In particular, book bloggers seem to have carved out an important role as legitimizing agents within the crime fiction field.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCelebrity Studies
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017


  • Social media
  • Literary celebrity
  • Audiences
  • Microanalysis
  • Fandom
  • Twitter

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