Web as Platform

The platformization of the web refers to the rise of the platform as the dominant infrastructural and economic model of the social web and the consequences of the expansion of social media platforms into other spaces online. page

I show how platforms use their infrastructure to render the web-native object of the hyperlink into a platform-specific shortened URL. In doing so, social media platforms change the function of the link from a navigational into an analytical device amenable for data capture.

The third-party objects present on websites draw attention to the larger techno-commercial configurations of the web that these sites are embedded in. I therefore suggest to reconceptualize the study of websites as website ecology which analyzes how various relations between the different actors on the web have become inscribed in a website’s source code.

These developments show the urgency of continually developing new methods to study the platformization of the web as well as the platformization of the app ecosystem, together with the consequences.