Volume 25 Fifty Years of CRIL
Contributions from CU Linguistics Doctoral Alumni

“I saw you like this now I wanna know”: Noticing Recipiency and Responding to Likes on Twitter

Joshua Raclaw
West Chester University
Lauren Durante
West Chester University
Olivia Marquardt
West Chester University
Published August 22, 2021
Keywords
  • conversation analysis,
  • social media,
  • response practices,
  • twitter

Abstract

In this paper, we focus on how interactants accomplish different forms of participation in the “one-to-many” context of social media interactions, where single users frequently have a wide audience of potential recipients to their posts. How do social media users ascertain who might be a relevant recipient to these posts, and how do other users who interact with these posts position themselves within a relevant participation framework? We explore these questions by examining how participants on Twitter orient to the act of “liking” a post as a resource for moving into the participation framework of the talk, and we show how this orientation allows likes to serve as possible pathways for launching new actions and activities. We examine these practices using the framework of conversation analysis (CA), showing how participants use public noticings of another user’s likes as a preface to, and justification for, a subsequent invitation sequence or complaint sequence. We additionally show how the specific media affordances of Twitter, which render likes publicly visible to others, facilitates the noticing of likes as a device for inciting new courses of action.