Science Communication Meets Consumer Relations: An Analysis of Twitter Use by 23andMe

Nicole M. Lee, Alan Abitbol, Matthew S. VanDyke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For-profit organizations play a considerable role in the dissemination of scientific research and information. In the case of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, this is important because how consumers learn about genetic science can influence health decisions and support for science. Through a content analysis of Twitter posts (N = 1,000), this study examined how 23andMe balances traditional promotion, communicating product benefits, and sharing scientific research. Results indicated that about half of all posts share science news but sharing science has declined over time. Far fewer posts communicate about the products or their benefits, but these posts garner more retweets and replies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-264
Number of pages21
JournalScience Communication
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • consumer relations
  • corporate communication
  • product promotion
  • science communication
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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