Why We Post




Project aims OLD

The world seen through social media

Ignore glib claims that we are all becoming more superficial or more virtual because of social media. What is really going on is far more incredible. These are social media, intensely woven into the texture of our relationships. In our study, social media gave us intimate insight into the worlds of Chinese factory workers, young Muslim women on the Syrian/Turkish border, IT professionals in India and many others.

On this website you can gain a first impression of some of our discoveries, browse the films we made while conducting our research and read some stories about our research participants. If you want to find out more you can take our free online course and read our 11 free open access books.

In particular we recommend the book 'How the World Changed Social Media'. Here you will find summaries of our results as they relate to topics ranging from gender, education, commerce, politics, communication, and many more.

Click here for the full list of publications resulting from this project.



Primary funding for this project came from the European Research Council grant SOCNET Project 2011-AdG-295486. The participation of Dr Nell Haynes was funded by the Interdisciplinary Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Studies at Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile. The participation of Xinyuan Wang was funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation. No part of this project received commercial funding.

How we did it


Learn about how we conducted the research.

Anthropology and ethnography


What do anthropologists study?

What is social media?


Our definition of social media.



Meet the people behind the project.