Dan Tasse, Zichen Liu, Alex Sciuto, and Jason I. Hong


International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM)


May 2017


The widespread adoption of smartphones has made it possible for large numbers of people to geotag their social media posts. Past work has studied the reasons people tag their location and the ways they do so on location-based social networks like Foursquare. But it is unclear how well these findings generalize to other social media not centered on location, such as Twitter or Flickr. Through an analysis of public data and two surveys, we investigate why people geotag their photos, tweets, and other non-location-based social media. We found that their reasons are similar to those in location-based social networks. We also found several surprises due to the different nature of these platforms and the changes since location-based social networks were introduced. For example, people usually consciously geotag, though a significant portion geotags unintentionally; coordinate geotagging is changing to placetagging; and job-posting bots constitute a growing portion of public geotags.

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