Quantified storytelling: A narrative analysis of metrics on social media

Alexandra Georgakopoulou-Nunes, Stefan Iversen, Carsten Stage

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This book interrogates the role of quantification in stories on social media: how do visible numbers (e.g. of views, shares, likes) and invisible algorithmic measurements shape the stories we post and engage with? The links of quantification with stories have not been explored sufficiently in storytelling research or in social media studies, despite the fact that platforms have been integrating sophisticated metrics into developing facilities for sharing stories, with a massive appeal to ordinary users, influencers and businesses alike. With case-studies from Instagram, Reddit and Snapchat, the authors show how three types of metrics, namely content metrics, interface metrics and algorithmic metrics, affect the ways in which cancer patients share their experiences, the circulation of specific stories that mobilize counter-publics and the design of stories as facilities on platforms. The analyses document how numbers structure elements in stories, indicate and produce engagement and become resources for the tellers’ self-presentation. This book will be of interest to students and scholars working in the fields of narrative and social media studies, including narratology, biography studies, digital storytelling, life-writing, narrative psychology, sociological approaches to narrative, discourse and sociolinguistic perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages149
ISBN (Electronic)9783030480745
ISBN (Print)9783030480738
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020


  • storytelling
  • Social media
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Metrics
  • algorithms
  • Narrative
  • Quantification


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