I’ve always been a fan of Taylor Swift. I remember roaming on her Myspace page listening to her songs and envying her myspace profile background. Until recently Myspace seemed to be the only social networking site that Taylor Swift was on, and that allowed her some room to show her personality, and not just another website dedicated to her promotions. Now many celebrities have branched out to use other social networking sites that have been made available. On websites online such as her YouTube page, her site TaylorSwift.com, her performances are more likely to be crafted by her public relations people. On her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page, she is more likely to self-promote, but also include more personal tidbits of her life, that are assumed to be crafted by herself and not her team. On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram she is afforded more intimacy with her followers.
Mitchell and Weber in Imaging, Keyboarding, and Posting Identities: Young People and New Media Technologies, explain that youth media users are “prosumers” a mix of producers and consumers. Taylor Swift is more a producer than a consumer, because she is a celebrity. On all her sites, she has a home profile of her sites, Twitter, and Facebook being the most widely used. Just by clicking Taylor’s likes on her Facebook, it tells me that she over 35 million likes and the most popular with the age group that is between 18-24 years old.Through all her sites there are not many of her opinions or personal information, and her circle of friends is not evident except in her twitter mentions with other celebrities. Her likes on her Facebook page are companies that she has a connection with such as CoverGirl (she has a contract with the company). Taylor’s profile is filed with promotions of her latest album Red, and this is true of all her sites. She is also the same identity throughout her sites and she makes no attempt to “try on identities.” There is convergence between her sites, meaning that the same information about her new album, her cat Meredith or her appearances on stage and on TV flow, from site to site.
Hugo Liu claims in her article Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances, that our taste communicates who we are and where we fit in the social world, where Taylor Swift fits as her promotion of self. Liu claims that social networking sites are non professional sites, which I think is different wen it comes to celebrities. When celebrities use social networking sites they become professional branding platforms. This is especially true of her Youtube and Facebook pages where she is less likely to express herself personally, whereas Twitter and Instagram encourage more personal posts, otherwise she would not have more than 20 million followers on Twitter. Taylor Swift’s taste performance conveys an authenticity taste statement. Her Myspace and Facebook about me sections is written like a letter to the fans, where she talks about personal aspects of her life. In her about me sections what is projected is a relaxed and real feeling to her words, and not just a biography done by wikipedia or people that work for her. It is important that her taste statement conveys authenticity to connect to her fans, and convey a pop/country persona. This is also done to differentiate herself as authentic among many fake profiles that claim to be Taylor Swift. Her authenticity is also seen in the verification she has on her Twitter page, and the links to all her real accounts that are on her Taylor Swift official site. Based on her Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube profiles we can judge that her daily activities consists of musical performances, TV appearances, traveling and time her family and cat Meredith.
Marwick and Boyd in “I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience” note the techniques and difficulties that come across creating an identity online, knowing ones audience and preventing context collapse..For celebrities it is impossible for them to know their audience because they have millions of followers. I would say that Taylor’s imaged audience consist of her fans and other celebrities. Her quoted retweets of her fans, retweets of her celebrity friends and TV personalities reflect that.
All her tweets are directed to the same imagined audience, suggesting that there is no change in her identity on any of her social media platforms. It is advantageous from her standpoint that she can reach many different audiences, of the same kind of people, because she has many different social media sites that might not al have the same followers. Her use on these sites are much like the practices of micro-celebrity, but on a larger scale because she actually is a celebrity and the purpose of her being on social networking sites to promote her brand. On her platforms she “obtains and maintains attention,” this is seen in the number of retweets, mentions, followers and likes she gets. Taylor’s context collapse is definitely on a larger scale because her profiles are public, there are no posts that would offend any part of her audience and she doesn’t have to use strategies to prevent context collapse, other than not revealing private information, since most celebrities like to keep their private life private. The only time that this does happen is because of paparazzi and “insiders” who know such information. Taylor, (pun intended) tailors her tweets to let us into her world and to give fans a backstage view into her life with “behind-the-scenes” videos.