Hanging out on Snapchat: disrupting passive covert netnography in tourism research

H.L. Jeffrey, H. Ashraf, C.M. Paris

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Tourism research is increasingly turning to online social media conversations as a data source, but seldom assigning space in research outputs for ethical appraisals or reflexive accounts of data collection. Many tourism researchers download conversations after they have occurred, but presence is central to gaining rich insights through netnographic research. We contribute to and disrupt online tourism research by critiquing, extending, and adapting existing methods to Snapchat, which in itself disrupts possibilities for online data collection. Hanging out with tourist Snapchatters highlights how privacy concerns are a primary motive to post on Snapchat. Snapchat is understood by our participants as more private than other social media sites due to the ephemerality of content and the notification of screenshots (when others save your snap). It is no coincidence that these same functionalities render established methods of digital tourism research difficult in the case of Snapchat. Snapchat users also problematise the notion of social media as public space, as they utilise the platforms for much more than communicating with the world. Snapchatters create, augment, and store memories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-161
Number of pages18
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1-2
Early online date20 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2021


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