Tinder the City: Software-Related Scenarios on Overcoming the Crisis of the Mediatised Public Sphere

Tinder the City: Software-Related Scenarios on Overcoming the Crisis of the Mediatised Public Sphere

The crisis in journalism affects regional newspapers as much as quality media. This development demands innovative ideas. Researchers at the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI), the Institute for Information Management Bremen and the Hans-Bredow-Institut will develop and implement an innovative app for searching news and information by using an experimental approach of co-creation. Together with future app users, the researchers will develop an innovative mobile news and information app with “Tinder logic” for young people. Thereby, it will not focus on the interests of a media company but on the needs, habits and demands of users.

The app will address citizens from Bremen and two adjacent rural districts (Osterholzen and Verden). At first, research on the urban public sphere will be conducted in 2018 and 2019. Based on these findings, a mobile app independent from classical news providers will be developed as an experimental prototype. The app focuses on young people aged 16 to 36. Thereby, the app will be based on the intuitive principle of Tinder, meaning that contents can be marked as “read” or “don’t read” by a simple swipe and, thus, includes the interests of users in a self-learning way.
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Project Description

The project connects empirical communication and media research with the so-called co-creative software development.  The experimental app is intended to counteract a looming loss of relevance of the city and region. So far, mobile ways of living, place bound social relationships and very different ways of media use have not been considered in concepts for offers of information. Thus, classic news providers do not reach many (young) people anymore.

It will be focused on a close co-operation with the media economy and digital economy in the metropolitan region of Bremen, the urban and municipal administration, advisory committees of the districts as well as political parties and organisations who are active in the city and the surrounding areas. However, local organisations, such as sports clubs, (neighbourhood) initiatives, art societies/initiatives, social movements with a local reference or religious communities will be integrated as well. By using the approach of co-creation, empirical findings and insights as well as expectations and demands of future users will be included into the whole process of software development right from the beginning.

Project Information


Duration: 2017-2020

Research programme:
RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication

Third party

Gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen
Senior Researcher Journalism Research

Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 91
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 77




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