Annotated bibliography

  • Anan, Wan, Leigh Moscowitz & Linwan Wu. “Online social viewing: Cross-cultural adoption and uses of bullet-screen videos.” Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 2019. DOI: 10.1080/17513057.2019.1610187

The researchers of this article designed an experiment to investigate two specific questions: “How do online video viewers respond to and interact with bullet-screen videos, including video viewing and commenting?” and “What role does culture play in how users experience bullet-screen videos?”(pg.5) For the experiment, the participants watched the movie trailer of Zootopia for two times, one without bullet screen and one with bullet screen. The participants were also asked to leave comments on the video. After the experiment, people are interviewed to comment on their experience. Based on the results, the researchers developed three themes of the study: the affordances of bullet-screen videos, the potential barriers to the adoption and usage of this technology, and the cultural differences that influence how viewers respond to bullet-screen videos (pg.7). 

First, research identified two unique affordances of bullet-screen: social viewing and real-time commenting. The interesting finding is that most participants showed lack of  interest to make comments at first, but once they really do the commenting, they changed their attitude to show the favor. Second, potential barriers including “multitasking, knowledge of a language, and the content of the videos” (pg.10). For example, some people find bullet comments can be distracting, and some think they are the spoilers. For the third theme, investigators discuss how culture plays a role in this technological adoption, including the usage of language, the interplay between content and the interface, and the role of perceived “insider status.”(pg. 12) For example, a specific language evolved as part of that subculture of bullet screen, and knowledge of that language became a key to understanding others comments (pg.12) (for example: 666=awesome,2333=laugh) Chinese participants find that they are hard to focus on comments that are made in English. Also, the result shows that while Chinese students enjoyed more of reading comments and sharing with others, American students showed less interest, which may be explained by the different culture of collectivism and individualism in two countries. Another point made is that how bullet screen allows people to create a kind of new culture that grant them the “insider status” is also the reason why some viewers drawn to bullet screen. It is definitely a good resource to show how culture plays a role to influence people’s opinions towards bullet screen and what are some potential reasons why bullet screen has not been popularized in western countries yet. 

  • Coonan, Clifford. “Chinese Theaters Test System of Onscreen Text Messages during Movies.” The Hollywood Reporter, 2014.

This article talks about an experiment conducted by Shen Leping, who tried to apply Bullet screen in his directed film The Legend of Qin. Shen conducted the experiment in several theaters in different cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou. In order to make bullet comment on the big screen, people need to pay 0.1 yuan (10 cents) for each message. Shen tried to explore how bullet screen would affect the movie and people’s viewing experience. The result shows how people have mixed feelings towards the application of bullet screen. While some found it is distractive, because those messages block the screen, some think that this interactivity is fun. The source is not as formal as the others, but it shows the fact that bullet screen is so commonly used in China and this trend creates a new wave as younger generations are so attracted to it. Shen explores the possibility of whether this new viewing technology would spread into film industry from online videos. I think it is interesting to think about whether this culture will be adopted in other realms rather than online websites in the future. 

  • Ferena, Menzel. “A new viewing experience in the living room-Bullet Screens in Vogue.” China Academic Journal Electronic Publishing House, 2015, pg.60-62.

The reading first gives a brief overview of bullet screen’s culture as it is originated from Japanese’ website NicoNico and spread to China in 2018. Unlike other traditional way of commenting that you need to scroll down to another section to see the comments, the bullet screen allows comment to appear directly on the screen. Bullet screen becomes a “a happy marriage between online video and social networking”, and videos that are targeted by bullet comments are often some ridiculous videos and shoddy films. (pg.61) The article includes the words by the president of NicoNico, who said that the value of bullet screen lies in how it could make a video with boring content interesting, which shows the entertaining aspect of bullet screen. The reading also talks about how some movie theaters and distributors see a lot of potentialities of this invention. For example, it is regarded as a powerful marketing tool by some companies. Few filmmakers try to adopt this invention into cinema, and this incites debate in society as some think they should not relate to serious art productions because it is often used by the young generation to jibe/complain worthless productions online (pg.62). I think this article clearly shows how bullet screen is a new trend in China from a social perspective, and how people are arguing whether it will expand to other media such as film and Tv or other realms such as business rather than just being a mocking tool on websites. 

  • Lili, Liu, Ayoung Suh & Christian Wagner.“Watching online videos interactively: the impact of media capabilities in Chinese Danmaku video sites.” Chinese Journal of Communication, 2016, pg.283-303.

The article is divided into three sections to discuss how bullet screen increases perceived interactivity in people’s viewing experience. First, the article introduces the conception of media capabilities by talking about the five factors of it, which are “transmission velocity”, “parallelism”, “symbol sets”, “rehearsability”, and “re-processability” (pg.287). This section provides a brief argument about how bullet screen fulfills each of these five factors.

In the second section, the researchers create a model by discussing how each factor is positively related to the perceived interactivity, and how this interactivity would influence viewers’ intention of“share” and boost people’s desire to continuously “use” bullet screen. The researchers collected data through an online survey and conducted a data analysis through statistical calculations. The result of the measurement shows that all five contributors of bullet screen contribute to the increase of interactivity between viewers  and the vales also show that the interactivity positively related to viewers’ intention of continuous usage and sharing of bullet screen. 

In the last section, the researchers talk about the theoretical and practical implications of the results of analyses, including how this invention of social media enhances the website sustainability, how it creates a new dynamics of audience’s viewing experience such as shapes people’s intentions in general, and how website managers could enhance users’ perceived interactivity by focusing on the five components of interactivity (pg.297). I think it is a good resource to show how bullet screen becomes a new communication tool that makes social media more interactive. 

  • Soussan, Djamasbi, Adrienne Hall-Phillips, Zaozao Liu, Wenting Li, Jin Bian.“Social Viewing, Bullet Screen, & User Experience: A First Look.” 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. 

The articles shows a controlled study to show how bullet comments influences people’s viewing experience in general. In the first study, researchers show two versions of a short video to participants of the study, one with the bullet screen and one without. Then people are asked to fill out a survey regarding the content of the video, their personal opinions of the video, how much they are engaged in the video, etc. The result of the study is divided into three sections, including “Mood”, “Engagement”, and “Social presence” (pg.648). Through the study, researchers found that while there is evidence to show that bullet screen “makes viewers more engaged in the video, it did not affect viewers’ mood nor did it improve their perception of social presence” (pg.653). 

Thus the researchers conducted the second study, in which the participants are not asked to fill in surveys but to directly answer questions in the format of interviews. They used their own words to explain whether “bullet screen made them feel more social or more connected to others compared to their experience of watching traditional videos” and “their willingness to recommend bullet screen to a friend” (pg. 654) The results show most participants think that they are more connected to others when they use bullet screen. However, some think that bullet screen is distracting. At the last section of the research, the researchers conclude that bullet screen would influence audience’s viewing experience by making video more engaging and improving people’s sense of social presence as a new way of communication. I think the value of this article lies in how it provides an explanation of how bullet screen has psychological impact on people, and it also clearly shows that bullet screen helps people to have this co-viewing experience. 

  • Yue Chen, Qin Gao & Pei-Luen Patrick Rau. “Watching a Movie Alone yet Together: Understanding Reasons for Watching Danmaku Videos.” International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 2017, pg. 731-743. DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2017.1282187

The article tries to show what are some motivations of using Danmaku and how individual differences influence people’s view of Danmaku. The largest motivation is based on how the co-viewing experience of Danmaku is different from co-viewing of other social media platforms. The first reason is that because Danmaku is anonymous, people enjoy more freedom to be their authentic selves and express their opinions. Second, Danmaku provides a “pseudo-synchronic” of co-viewing experience, which means that “viewers can read comments sent by all the viewers who watched the same video before so that the experience is not completely synchronized.”(pg.734) As the video is watched by a larger audience, more interesting comments may come up, which makes viewing a more entertaining. Finally, the short appearance of each rolling comment on the screen also encourages viewers to share their instantaneous emotions and feelings. Danmuku also fulfills utilitarian needs because people can obtain additional information provided by other audience. It also has hedonic value, for those comments become the major source of entertainment when people ridicules the content together. 

The scholars conducted two experiments (a pilot study and a survey) to show how individual differences influence people’s perceptions towards Danmaku. For the study, 11 participants(some use Danmaku in high frequency and some in low) are asked to take part in group discussions, and they are asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding their experience of Danmaku. The results show that high frequency users tend to make more positive comments on Danmaku, and those don’t use Danmaku give more negative comments such as how Danmaku provides useless and excessive information. For the survey, 248 people participated online, and 85% of them are students. The survey shows that the strongest motivation for people to use Danmaku is that it provides information as well as serves as entertainment tool. Social connectedness is regarded as the second important reason. The strongest negative factor of Danmaku is that it creates visual clutter. The regression analysis of the survey also shows that introverted users were more likely to watch Danmaku video, and those who are more open to new experiences show more favor of Danmaku (pg.741).

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