Comunicar 59: Emerging mobile media. Convergence in the new media arena

Vol. XXVII, n. 59, 2nd quarter, April 1 2019
E-ISSN: 1988-3293 / ISSN: 1134-3478

           

Constructing Donald Trump: Mobile apps in the political discourse about the President of the United States

https://doi.org/10.3916/C59-2019-05

Abstract

This paper explores the creation and content of apps about Donald Trump (n=412) published in Google Play between June 2015 and January 2018. The relevance of the study stems from both its objectives and its methodology. On the one hand, the aim was to characterise the profile, motivations and purposes of the developers of Donald Trump apps; and on the other, to identify the main features of the discourses in the most downloaded apps. The study relied on two resources: a qualitative questionnaire of open questions for developers (n=376), and a quantitative analysis of the content of apps that exceeded 5,000 downloads (n=117). The questionnaire identified the influence of political current affairs in the developers’ ideological and economic motivations, while the content analysis revealed the trends found over time, as well as the themes, discourses and ideological positioning of the most popular apps about Donald Trump. The findings provide an empirical basis for how the content of these apps was articulated with the news; the influence of content that went viral; hegemonic discourses; and the role played by developers of new expressive, commercial, informative and persuasive proposals in the intersection between mobile apps and political campaigns.

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