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Celebrities Acting up: A Speech Act Analysis in Tweets of Famous People

DOI: 10.4236/sn.2016.51001, PP. 1-10

Keywords: Speech Act Analysis, Twitter, Celebrity, Computer Mediated Communication

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Abstract:

Twitter has become very popular among celebrities. It is the main platform used by them to publish press releases and, especially, to reach out to their fans. Given the pervasiveness of celebrities on the site, people with related interests may be especially likely to start using the service due to the perception of direct access to a famous person. As for the celebrities, it is a way of being close to the public and giving them an insight in to the life of a celebrity. Although most celebrity Twitter accounts are only used for promotion purposes, many celebrities use their personal accounts for the purpose of communicating with their fans, friends and other celebrities. These celebrities tweet personal photos and share their inner thoughts for various reasons and to different audiences. Thus in this study I ask: What are celebrity speech patterns on Twitter? Are they talking mostly to fans, and if not, who are they talking to? How are they talking to these different audiences? I address these questions by analyzing the tweets publicly available on four active celebrities’ Twitter timelines. The findings support that these celebrities indeed address different audiences on Twitter, including fans, friends, family and other celebrities. The findings further reveal that celebrities tend to communicate using different speech acts when talking to these different audiences. In light of this evidence, I attempt to highlight patterns that may be relevant with regards to the celebrities’ gender.

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