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📄Book Section

Platform and App Histories:
Assessing Source Availability in Web Archives and App Repositories

📂Doing App and Platform Historiography In this chapter, we discuss the research opportunities for historical studies of apps and platforms by focusing on their distinctive characteristics and material traces. We demonstrate the value and explore the utility and breadth of web archives and software repositories for building corpora of archived platform and app sources. Platforms and apps notoriously resist archiving due to their ephemerality and continuous updates. As a consequence, their histories are being overwritten with each update, rather than written and preserved. We present a method to assess the availability of archived web sources for social media platforms and apps across the leading web archives and app repositories. Additionally, we conduct a comparative source set availability analysis to establish how, and how well, various source sets are represented across web archives. Our preliminary results indicate that despite the challenges of social media and app archiving, many material traces of platforms and apps are in fact well preserved. We understand these contextual materials as important primary sources through which digital objects such as platforms and apps co-author their own ‘biographies’ with web archives and software repositories.

Note: This section is part of The Past Web: Exploring Web Archives, a book edited by D. Gomes, E. Demidova, J. Winters, and T. Risse.

📋 ✍Cite

📋Cite (APA) Helmond, A. & van der Vlist, F. N. (2021). Platform and App Histories: Assessing Source Availability in Web Archives and App Repositories. In D. Gomes, E. Demidova, J. Winters, & T. Risse (Eds.), The Past Web: Exploring Web Archives. Cham, CH: Springer, pp. 203–214. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-63291-5_16.
🔗Link (DOI)

Kind Edited Book; Book Section
Author (Section) A. Helmond; F. N. van der Vlist
Publication Date 2021, July 1
Book The Past Web: Exploring Web Archives
Editor D. Gomes; E. Demidova; J. Winters; T. Risse
Pages 203–214 (12)
Publisher Springer (Cham, Switzerland)
Identifier 10.1007/978-3-030-63291-5_16 [self]; 978-3-030-63290-8 [part of]; 978-3-030-63290-5 [part of]; 10.1007/978-3-030-63291-5 [part of]; 275-45-009 [funded by]; 262513311 [funded by]


🖇Attached 🕓Date Modified ↧ Name Kind Access
2020-09 Platform and App Histories 📄 🔍Conference Proceeding 🔓Open Access
📌 2019-11-06 Social Media and Platform Historiography 📄 🔍Research Article 🔓Open Access
2019-07 App (Store) Policy Histories 📝Web Report 🌍Public
2019-05-01 Facebook’s Evolution 📄 🔍Research Article 🔓Open Access
2019-03-20 Historical Facebook Platform ‘Boundary Resources’, 2006–2018 🗄Research Data 🔓Open Access
2019-01 Apps and Their Stories 📝Web Report 🌍Public
2018-12-17 Seeing the Forest for the Trees Diagrams 📊Infographics 🔓Open Access
2017-07-28 The Political Economy of Social Data 📄 🔍Conference Proceeding 🔒Closed