Two women read a digital story on their phone.

Digital Storytelling

The Editors

With daily activities and life moving online, digital stories that are specifically created for online publication are increasingly appearing. Digital storytelling distinguishes itself by making use of the the media's interactive, mulitplatform, and multimodal affordances.

These affordances result in unique characteristics of the texts: online and social media platforms provide platform-specific tools for storytelling and enable immediate publication and access. The distribution of fictional stories on everday platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook results in a blending of fiction and reality. Moreover, digital storytelling often enables or even demands audience engagement. To experience the stories, fan communities have to work together to find the scattered content and fill in the gaps. Other stories allow users to interact with fictional characters or leave feedback that can result in changes while the story is still unfolding.

Digital storytelling is related to transmedia storytelling. While the concept of transmedia storytelling discusses the connections of on- and offline media, digital storytelling focusses on digital platforms. The concept raises questions on audience or user engagement, authenticity and reality, serielity and publication time, as well as multimediality and multimodality.

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