Social media app ecology at Google Play Store from the perspective of digital methods and network analysis for social media

Abstract This study aims to apply an experiment using a combination of methods, in order to understand the configuration of social media app ecology available on Google Play Store. Starting from inductive and abductive inferences related to methodological and epistemological perspectives that Rogers (2014) calls Digital Methods, as well as the Network Analysis for Social Media (RECUERO et al, 2015), we seek to produce a more general view on the ecology of social media apps, considering relations of similarity (processed by a tool called Google Play Similar) between structured applications on Google Play Store. Our results point to some limitations of this experiment, but at the same time indicate that the app ecology is established from a number of criteria and attention vectors beyond the relative similarity to the functionality of such applications.