Online Program

Did you Tweet from an iPhone or Android? Examining differences in how HPV vaccine is discussed by platform

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Alexandra Budenz, M.A., School of Public Health, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, Department of Medical Oncology, Division of Population Science, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Alan Black, College of Computing and Informatics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Kara Fisher, MPH, School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Elizabeth deArmas, Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Ann C. Klassen, PhD, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Philip Massey, PhD, MPH, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Background: The social media platform, Twitter, is a global forum for public discourse, and emerging research is finding value for public health research, related to topics including Cholera, pandemic flu, infectious disease outbreaks, and health promotion activities.

Methodology: We utilized Personal Zombie, software developed by Drexel University students, to collect Twitter data related to HPV vaccine from August 1, 2014 – October 31, 2014. We developed 13 HPV vaccine-related search terms, through which the program filtered relevant tweets. In addition to key Twitter social features including hashtag use (#), @ mentions, and Retweeting (RT), Personal Zombie collected information on the platform (iPhone vs. Android) from which the user tweeted.

Results: We gathered 185,644 unique tweets, from which we selected a random sample of 10,000 for analysis. Of the randomly selected tweets, 2,621 were tweeted from an Android or iPhone mobile device (1,179 from Android and 1,442 from iPhones). These included 791 hashtagged tweets, 1,965 tweets containing @ mentions to another user, and 1,521 Retweets. Android and iPhone users showed significant differences in their use of key social features when communicating about HPV. Chi square analyses showed that compared to Android users, iPhone users are more likely to use hashtags, mentions, and retweets (p<.001).

Conclusion: Android and iPhone users vary in their use of key social features on Twitter when discussing HPV vaccination. Tailoring communication campaigns by incorporating hashtags, @ mentions, and Retweets to reflect target audience behaviors, will likely strengthen the potential reach and effectiveness of messages.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss Twitter communication about the HPV vaccine Explain how Twitter communication varies by type of platform utilized

Keyword(s): Cancer and Women’s Health, Social Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with multimedia and social media in a professional public health setting. My research interests have included women's health and health communication.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.