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Mayo-junio de 2020, vol. 29, núm. 3
Relaciones públicas / Public relations

A taxonomy design for mobile applications in the Spanish political communication context

Rocío Zamora-Medina; José-Carlos Losada-Díaz; Pablo Vázquez-Sande

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Abstract: The new mobile ecosystem that now defines the so-called mobile society and the mobile culture is already a key territory for contemporary political communication. Within this culture, mobile applications have become a common ground for the meeting between organisations and citizens interested in participating in political matters through the direct experience that these platforms allow. Despite this development, it is difficult to find a complete and reliable taxonomy of apps in the academic or professional literature that analyses how these relationships impact the field of political communication. This study tries to address this gap, introducing the first systematic taxonomy of political communication apps in Spain based on the development of a self-produced taxonomical model that gathers in detail all the variables required to understand the nature of these applications that are available for any smartphone. This rigorous taxonomy comprises political communication applications available at the main app stores (about 316 found in Play Store and App Store). Specifically, the methodological classification was elaborated based on the following categories: promoter agent, app objective, level of interaction, level of autonomy and predominant tone. A very complete picture was obtained from the empirical analysis, which defines and explains the landscape of political communication applications for mobile devices in Spain.

Keywords: Techno politics; Mobile communication; Mobile politics; Pocket politics; Apps; Political communication; Smartphones; Mobile ecosystem; Mobile technology; Media ecology; Economy of applications.