|Author(s)||Todd L. Sandel, Chuyue Ou, Dorji Wangchuk, Bei Ju, Miguel Duque|
|Title||Unpacking and describing interaction on Chinese WeCha: A methodological approach|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Affordances, Chinese, WeChat, Conversation analysis, Online data, Sacksian principles|
|Journal||Journal of Pragmatics|
WeChat is a popular social media application developed in China and designed for the mobile phone. Users may send and receive messages in a variety of systems, including text, emoji, gif ﬁles, pictures, and audio messages. They may create messages in one or more languages and scripts, and may interact asynchronously, or synchronously. We examined data in the form of messages shared using the synchronous chat function of WeChat. Our analysis demonstrates both howWeChat as a technology and Chinese as a language, afford novel and creative ways to construct messages and interactions: users may write messages with Chinese characters in standard or nonstandard forms, including vernacular Cantonese; they may purposefully select non-standard characters to key and accent messages. This study unpacks new forms of online data and demonstrates new methods of social action.