Chinese affective platform economies: dating, live streaming, and performative labor on Blued

Shuaishuai Wang
<span title="2019-08-18">2019</span> <i title="SAGE Publications"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/7tk2d6a7bnhlbg2uqzfgg24mli" style="color: black;">Media Culture and Society</a> </i> &nbsp;
This article analyzes the political economy of sexually affective data on the Chinese gay dating platform Blued. Having launched in 2012 as a location-based dating app akin to Grindr, Blued has now become a multipurpose platform providing extra services such as newsfeeds and live streaming. Through the continuous imbrication of old and new functionalities and related affordances, users are transformed from dating subjects into performative laborers. Based on Internet ethnographic research that
more &raquo; ... asted 2 years, this article focuses on sexual-affective data flows (e.g. virtual gifting, following, liking, commenting, and sharing) produced by gay live streamers within the parameters of same-sex desires such as infatuation, sexual arousal, and online intimacy. It argues that these sexually affective data flows increasingly constitute key corporate assets with which Blued attracts venture capital. This analysis of live streamers and their viewers extends understandings of dating apps in two ways. First, it shows how these apps now function as business platforms on top of being channels for hooking up. Second, it emphasizes that whereas users created data freely, now it is produced by paid labor.
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