Common technology such as mobile phones, computers and television set are primarily used for people to interact with other people. Television (monologic media) requires a longer time span for production to get across from the producer to the user whereas mobile phones (dialogic media) are built to be made compatible for the quick lifestyle of society and so therefore the movement of information is more direct. Despite these differences, technology cooperates to create a flow of media content across multiple media platforms and this ultimately effects how audience interact with these said technologies.
The audience’s role was once to consume the media presented to them and this passive audience who had no control or influence delved into the world of convergence and this has empowered audiences to become active consumers. Not only do they now consumer but they also have the opportunity to produce, share, interact and comment and this has led to the creation of participatory culture. ‘Prosumers’ as they are labelled arise from the low cost of access and production and also the immediacy of this connectivity is and this drives increasing participation across platforms.
A solid example of a prosumer environment is Instagram. Everyone and anyone can upload photos and videos and this has resulted in an uprise of a new form of media personalities. People with interesting lives amass thousands of followers and this has led to business ventures (especially in the fashion industry) such as marketing and product promotion through these ‘instafamous’ people and also the scouting for talent. This participatory culture allows for even ordinary people to be featured on social media pages of companies and shared to millions of people through a click of a button. For example, the Australian fashion label Shakuhachi posts on average 3 posts a day with content ranging from life at head office, published advertisements, everyday life at the stores and celebrities wearing the brand but the most common posts are ‘regrams’ from customers. Using customer images diminishes the barrier between the company and customers so people feel more comfortable and familiar with the brand, increase sales and further fuel the marketing campaign which they are the backbone to anyway.
This once simple platform for sharing photos has evolved by users to become a business tool in reaching out to potential customers and this has led to an increase in a different kind of user, one who is driven by likes and followers in the aim of making a monetary profit back.
Shakuhachi Instagram, Accessed March 4th 2014
Terry, T, Understanding The Differences Between Passive, Active, Interactive, and Supra-active Media, Publishes April 3rd 2014, Accessed April 4th 2014