Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

How do apps function in platform ecologies like Facebook’s?

On Thursday, 24 May, digital media scholar Esther Weltevrede (University of Amsterdam) will discuss the role of third-party apps in social media ecologies, as part of the Brussels Speaker Series on Algorithms & Platforms.

The title of Weltevrede’s lecture will be: ‘Platform studies meets app studies: how third-party apps build upon and amplify platform features and data’. Apps are built on platform APIs to add functionalities, automate content production, collect data, or manage accounts across platforms. Often these apps are developed in a reactive relation with the popularity mechanisms of a platform, such as trending topics or sorting algorithms.

In public debates on e.g. elections, apps increasingly figure as central actors, like Cambridge Analytica’s This Is Your Digital Life in the revelations surrounding the recent Facebook scandal. There is, however, not much wider (academic or public) knowledge about the technical infrastructures apps are built on, nor about the various ways in which these apps function in platform ecologies.


Details and registration

The lecture will take place from 12.30-14.00 at Pleinlaan 9, Brussels, 1st floor. Please register via This address can also be used for practical questions.



The speaker series is an initiative of:


– the VUB research group LSTS (Law, Science, Technology & Society),


– the VUB Chair in Fundamental Rights and the Digital Transformation,


– the research centre imec-SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology),


in collaboration with QHHQ, the Quadruple Helix Headquarters set up by imec, VUB, the Big Data Value Association and several other European innovation networks.

24 May 2018

From 12u30 - 14u00


QHHQ-floor, Pleinlaan 9, Brussels, 1st floor

Open in Google Maps


  • 12.30
    Start Lecture


  • No downloads available for this event.