This dissertation aimed at discussing the similarities and differences between Chinese middle-aged, old and young Internet users in using expression pack. Through reviewing literatures relating to visual culture, visual communication theory and Meme theory, it showed that expression pack has become an important part of network communication. However, there is no research on the differences between Chinese middle-aged, old and young people in the use of expression pack. This dissertation studied the differences in the use of expression pack in order to fill the gaps in this aspect. It used a qualitative research method, through semi-structured interviews towards seven middle-aged, old Internet users and seven young netizens to understand the characteristics of their use of expression pack. The interview results of this study showed that middle-aged, old people and young people were similar in using expression pack to express their emotions more properly, allowing chat objects to have a more accurate understanding of their meaning and making the atmosphere of the chat more harmonious. The semi-structured interviews revealed that the middle-age, old and young people were significantly different in the following aspects in using expression pack. First is the purpose of use of expression pack, followed by the channels to get expression pack. Finally, there was a big difference in their preferences for the design and content of expression pack. The author was based on the interview results and related literatures, as well as the differences between middle-aged, old people and young people in the use of expression pack to recommend on the marketing strategies for Chinese enterprises engaged in expression package production and dissemination from the following aspects: expression pack, channels to get expression package, content of expression pack.#p#分页标题#e#
Keywords: expression pack; netizens; semi-structured interview; visual culture; visual communication theory; Meme
Chapter I Introduction 简介
In the era of new media, people's way of communication has undergone tremendous changes, from the simple use of text, it gradually evolves into the use of symbols, pictures, expressions, etc., so expression pack develops rapidly (Li, 2017). In 2015, "face with tears of joy" in Emoji expression was chosen as the annual vocabulary of the Oxford Dictionary (Sun, 2016). Expression pack is changing people's communication habits, it has become an important part of people’s communication in the social network platform (Liu, 2017). At the same time, people have fun and are satisfied in the process of production, collection and dissemination of expression pack (Li, 2016). China is one of the countries in the world in which people are most enthusiastic in the use of expression pack, according to statistics, in 2014, the annual delivery of QQ expression was more than 533.8 billion times, among 700 million QQ Internet users of different age groups (as shown in Figure 1), more than 90% of them have used expression in chatting (Liu, 2017; Li, 2017). The rapid development of expression pack provides a new topic and expression ways for the exchange of Chinese Internet users in the social networking platform, showing the inclusion and diversity of the network culture (Li, 2016). The emergence of the custom expression function greatly enhances users’ enthusiasm of participating in creation. At the same time, it should be noted the huge market space behind expression pack, as well as the positive effects brought about by expression pack for the network, economic and cultural development (Sun, 2016).
Product placement in expression pack is a new marketing model (Liu, 2017). For instance, WeChat official platform launched the "Kung Fu Panda" expression pack series, which was to cooperate with the publicity of the film named "Kung Fu Panda 3", the expression pack continued discussion of the topic of the film, and it could also use the expression pack to carry out marketing promotion for the film-related products (Sun, 2016). Chat software has a large number of user groups and it highly sticks users, it can effectively drive consumer spending, so many platforms begin to develop and put expression pack in the chat software (Li, 2017). WeChat takes initiative to cooperate with variety show and stars to shoot realistic expression pack, fans can use the expressions pack through paying for it. In addition, for the protection and support of authors’ original expression pack, from December 2015, users in the use of original expression pack can reward the authors (Liu, 2017). More and more social networking platforms pay attention to expression pack, a variety of expression pack has been introduced, expression pack culture achieves an unprecedented prosperity. The vigorous development of expression pack has stimulated the market demand of related industries. Animation products, games and other related products derived from expression pack are an important manifestation of the commercial value of expression pack (Li, 2016). Line was not only through expression pack to improve the use of Line chat software, but also through the "Line Friends"-related products to achieve profitability, these related products involve games, map expression, catering, stationery, clothing and many other areas. In addition to promoting the development of cultural industries, expression pack can also promote the development of tourism industry. Such as Japan's "Kumamon" expression pack series is through the strong operation to lead the tourism development of the entire Kumamoto Prefecture (Liu, 2017). In addition, based on Emoji expression pack with a huge number of fans, they will also shoot a movie.#p#分页标题#e#
1.2 Research motivation
Expression pack has become an indispensable part of China's network, its economic value is also valued by more and more people (Sun, 2016). However, it is worth noting that with the development of expression pack industry, more and more enterprises and individuals will participate in the production and distribution of expression pack, companies engaged in expression pack production and publishing will face more and more competition. Considering from market positioning theory, related enterprises in future must accurately find their own product positioning, aiming at target customers’ consumer demand to produce and publish expression pack, or the expression pack produced will not be able to obtain consumers’ recognition, data show that the expression pack used most frequently by Chinese users in 2016 was bared teeth, the frequency was up to 30 billion (as shown in Figure 2), behind the expression of bared teeth, it shows a polite, cute, friendly attitude, it has become a unified way to greet by users everywhere. Many QQ users said that in conversation, if they do not know how to say, they will also use the expression of bared teeth to ease the embarrassment, success of bared teeth expression pack is because it meets what people need in communication, and more expression packs are seldom used, these expression packs can not be recognized by the majority of consumers, nor do they stimulate users’ desire to use it. Figure 3 shows that China has 700 million Internet users, different consumer groups are different in the use of expression pack, especially for the elderly Internet users and young Internet users, due to age, cultural levels, knowledge structure and other aspects of the differences, resulting in their different preferences and use of expression pack. Whether it is middle-aged Internet users or young Internet users, they are a very large consumer groups, there are 100 million middle-aged Internet users who are more than 44-year-old, there are 600 million young people who are less than 44 years old, companies are difficult to rely on a same expression pack to satisfy two consumer groups at the same time. Therefore, companies need to aiming at the characteristics and preferences of the consumer groups, as well as their own situation to develop targeted expression pack production and publishing strategies (Li, 2016; Liu, 2016).
1.3 Research aims and objectives
The research aim of this study was to discuss the differences between Chinese middle-aged Internet users and young netizens in the use of expression pack. Based on this aim, the following research objectives were developed.
Research objective 1: to analyze the reasons for why expression pack thrives in China;
Research objective 2: to understand the characteristics of Chinese middle-aged and old Internet users' use of expression pack and to analyze the causes;
Research objective 3: to understand the characteristics of Chinese young Internet users’ use of expression pack and to analyze the causes;
Research objective 4: to compare the differences between Chinese middle-aged, old Internet users and young Internet users in the use of expression pack;
Research objective 5: to recommend on how to make and release expression pack aiming at China's middle-aged and old Internet users, as well as young netizens.
1.4 Framework of this dissertation
First chapter introduces the research background, research significance and research aim, research objectives of this study. Chapter 2 reviews literatures relating to visual culture, Meme, visual communication, empirical research results relating to expression pack are also reviewed, through a critical analysis on the literatures to point out the theoretical innovation significance of this study. Third chapter is methodology, which describes the research methods, research tools, sample selection. The fourth chapter introduces the content of the semi-structured interview. The fifth chapter discusses the results of the semi-structured interview with the content of the literature review. The last chapter summarizes the full text, pointing out the limitations of this study and the future research directions to recommend on how to design and release expression pack aiming at Chinese middle-aged or aged Internet users and young Internet users.
Chart 2 Literature Review 文献综述
2.1 Introduction of this chapter
This chapter reviews relevant theories and empirical studies, through a critical analysis on these literatures to point out the theoretical innovation of this study.
2.2 Theoretical basis
2.2.1 Visual culture
Visual culture can be defined as a new ideology and art form corresponding to traditional printing culture, it takes film and television image symbols as the basic ideographic system, as well as takes film and computer multimedia as the communication medium. The external manifestation of visual culture takes image symbol as a constituent element and takes visual perception as the perceived style (Mamur, 2012). At a deeper level, visual culture refers to that culture separates itself from the rationalist form taking language as the center to increasingly turn to the perceptual form taking image as the center. Visual culture not only marks the change and formation of a cultural form, but also means the transformation of human thinking paradigm (Walden, 2011).
It was Baraz who first interpreted the theory of "visual culture" in the history (Bauer, 2016). At the beginning of the last century, he predicted that with the advent of film, a new visual culture would replace the printing culture. According to his view, the invention of printing makes the role of vision begin to decline gradually in daily life, abstract printed symbols replace facial expressions to convey meaning (Bauer, 2016). He believed that the emergence of film is a major change in the history of human civilization, its emergence makes human beings begin to re-focus on vision, human culture goes back to visual culture (Bauer, 2016).#p#分页标题#e#
Eagleton (1981) pointed out that people are facing a visual culture era. Image production profoundly involves politics, science and technology, business, aesthetics, these four themes in the modern society.
Virilio (1999) believed that the emergence of the Internet and the satellite mark a new era of visual culture. Compared with traditional delay text transmission, visual electronic media communication is more close to real-time communication, the dominant position of visual culture makes text spread take a second place.
Through the previous discussion, it could be seen that visual culture existed since ancient times. As what Baraz (1945) stressed, the appearance of images makes people restore attention to visual culture, and with the advancement of electronic media technology, the dominant position of visual culture is becoming more and more obvious.
2.2.2 Visual communication
People are through their own different sensory organs to recognize the world, one of the most important sensory organs is vision. Vision is the dominant feeling that people have in perceiving objective things, 70% of information that individuals receive from the objective environment is acquired through vision (Ryan, 2016). Visual communication refers to that information transfers in visual communication select appropriate symbols, patterns, color signs, typography, drawing and other visual elements, through a reasonable layout of these elements and symbols to pass a message to information receivers, when the information receivers respond to this visual information, the visual communication process is completed (Cornish, Goodman-Deane, Ruggeri, Clarkson, 2015).
Compared with other means of communication such as language communication, physical communication, visual communication has its different characteristics. First, the content of visual communication is more abundant, in communication, it can use a small amount of visual elements, through appropriate technology and the use of originality to transmit a large number of information (Figueiredo, 2015). Second, visual communication has a variety of forms, information transfers can use different forms and ideas to express different meanings, different information transfer can use different forms to express a same meaning (Ryan, 2016; Figueiredo, 2015). Third, visual communication can convey a lot of information, but different people may differ in the interpretation of these kinds of information. Fourth, in visual communication, if information receivers and the information transfers have more similar interests, knowledge structure, appreciation level, cultural background and so on, the information receivers can more understand the information that the information transfers try to transmit more accurately. On the contrary, it is difficult for the information receivers to understand the information that the information transfers intent to transfer exactly, and they will even distort the intention from the information transfers (Ryan, 2016; Figueiredo, 2015). Finally, visual communication often involves the exchange of emotions between the two sides, Cornish, Goodman-Deane, Ruggeri, Clarkson (2015) believed that information transfers are not only through visual language to express their intentions to the audience, but also hope that through visual communication to impress people's emotions, causing emotional resonance between the two sides.#p#分页标题#e#
The use of expression pack is also a type of visual communication, this study is based on visual communication theory to analyze Chinese Internet users’ use of expression pack.
2.2.3 Meme theory
In the 1970s, a British ethnologist named Richard Dawkins was on the basis of the core concept of genetics: “gene” to create the word "Meme". "Meme" is a human "cultural gene", it can be transmitted, spread, copied, it will also derive and vary, so that human culture innovates, continuously develops and evolutes in the inheritance of generations (Ross and Rivers, 2017).
Piata (2016) pointed out that in newspapers, radio, television and other traditional media platforms, the audience can only passively accept the information left by their predecessors or the content produced by the media, they can not interact and communicate with the producers, so it is difficult for them to edit or modify these information and content. In other words, the economic cost and technical threshold of Meme spread are quite high (Piata, 2016).
The leading role of Meme in cultural communication is fully demonstrated in the mobile Internet and social media era, and it has gradually developed into the “prism” to reflect the contemporary digital culture. In the social media platform, information and content producers and users can interact with each other across time and space to achieve cross-cultural interaction. More importantly, in this platform, users can not only edit and modify existing content, but also freely produce and disseminate new content and information (Williams at el., 2016). In view of this, digital Meme has become the main means of cultural communication and media integration. Meme mainly includes text, images, audio, video, these four categories (Piata, 2016). With the rapid development of Internet technology and the arrival of web2.0 era, Meme develops from the early maintenance model, through the medium-term expansion model, gradually into a later modification model (Ross and Rivers, 2017; Piata, 2016). Maintenance model of Meme refers to the multimedia information which has not been modified to maximize the retention of the original content, that is, "the original Meme." The expansion model of Meme refers to information and content which can be added or derived by secondary production and dissemination, they become "dynamic Meme". Modification model is the use of UGC of social media platform to change the "dynamic Meme", through remix, parody, and even thoroughly rewriting and subversion, as well as other disruptive innovation to eventually develop into "mature Meme" (Ross and Rivers, 2017; Piata, 2016).
Judging from Meme theory, expression pack has the characteristics of Meme. First, expression pack carries a certain amount of information communicated in the network, and in the process of communication, it will be edited by users to produce a certain variation. Second, the development of expression pack technology is also similar to the development of Meme, from the beginning, it can not be edited, and then it can be edited, and ultimately it develops into expression pack which can be greatly modified to express mood and opinion. Therefore, expression pack is not just visual or network technology works, to a certain extent, the existence and development of expression pack are closely related to the development of the network and social culture. In the analysis on strategies of the use of expression pack by Chinese young and middle-aged people, this study should also attach importance to the impact of Chinese society and network culture. #p#分页标题#e#
2.3 Network communication
2.3.1 Performance of visual communication in the network
In the network era, visual communication has its own characteristics, first of all, because of the support of computer and network, people have more material to produce visual works, people have a more optimized choice in terms of color, contrast, transparency and other aspects, people can make use of video or expression pack to create dynamic visual works, therefore, in the Internet age, visual works can be more attractive (Ryan, 2016; Ross and Rivers, 2017). Then, in the Internet age, visual works have more mobility, once a visual work is accepted by the majority of Internet users, it can be quickly spread to the rest of the world. Again, contents of visual works can be easily edited to express different meanings, for instance: same pictures with different words can express different meanings, different pictures coupled with the same text can express the same meaning (Ryan, 2016; Ross and Rivers, 2017). Finally, anyone can make visual works in the network to communicate with people, but limited by relevant network technology, producers have to master relevant network technology to produce good visual works (Piata, 2016).
2.3.2 Differences between middle-aged and old, as well as young people in terms of communication behavior in the network
Chao et al. (2017), Han et al. (2017), Yang et al. (2015) contrasted the difference of network communication behavior between middle-aged, old people and young people in China from the perspectives of attitudes, communication objects, communication contents and communication software. The research results revealed that the middle-aged, old people were more serious in communicating with other people on the Internet. Middle-aged, old Internet users were relatively mature, inclusive, they would not abuse and vent with no reason, nor did they parody. Compared with young Internet users’ entertainment, venting, game features, the middle-aged, old Internet users have quite serious attitude in communication (Chao et al., 2017; Han et al., 2017).
Communication objects of middle-aged and old people were usually relatively fixed, and they usually maintained a more frequent and long-term communication frequency with the communication objects, the communication objects were usually those who the middle-aged and old people were familiar with in reality, only a few were new friends made through the Internet, and the middle-aged and old people usually made less new friends. And young people communicated with more people, they loved to communicate with different objects and young people were better than the elderly at finding new friends on the network, young people usually only communicated frequently with those who have the same interest as they have (Han et al., 2017; Yang et al., 2015). The middle-aged and old people were happy to share their life experiences in their communication, they were willing to care about others and liked to make suggestions for others. And the communication between the young people was more sharing their emotions, expressing their views, or discussing a problem (Chao et al., 2017).#p#分页标题#e#
The middle-aged and old people communicated with people on the Internet usually only by one or two communication software, and usually most of the communication software functions were rarely used. And young people would be skilled in the use of a variety of communication software, most of the functions of the communication software were used (Han et al., 2017; Yang et al., 2015).
The use of expression pack is an important part of communication on the network. This study was based on the above content to analyze the differences between middle-age, old people and young people in using expression pack, as well as reasons for the existence of these differences.
2.4 Expression pack
2.4.1 Definition and characteristics of expression pack
Expression pack is a way to use pictures to express feelings. Expression pack is a popular culture formed after the active of the social software, expression pack is popular on the Internet, almost everyone uses expression pack. In the period of the mobile Internet, people take popular stars, quotations, animation, video screenshots as the materials, coupled with a series of matching text to express a specific emotion (Oleszkiewicz et al., 2017).
Expression pack is essentially a popular culture. Relying on the continuous development of social contact and networking, ways of communication between people change accordingly, from the earliest text communication to using some simple symbols, emoji expression, and it is gradually evolved into an increasingly diverse expression pack culture, Internet users use some self-made expression pack with popular elements to communicate. Most expression pack is funny, and the composition is exaggerated, through the collection and sharing of expression pack, people can get fun, while showing their own expression pack, people can be recognized by others to achieve psychological satisfaction (Xiang et al., 2016).
2.4.2 Functions of expression pack
Expression pack has many functions, which may lie in the following five aspects. Firstly, fast-paced modern life brings people a sense of tension and oppression, production and dissemination of expression pack is Internet users’ a way of going out of the pressure. In the process of production and dissemination of expression pack, Internet users are involved in the discussion, collection, forwarding and other network interaction, expression pack contains humorous comic elements for Internet users to get fun (Vidal, Ares and Jaeger, 2016). Secondly, expression pack gives Internet users opportunities to express their views. The self-made expression pack by netizens represents a grassroots culture, which a kind of resistance to the mainstream elite culture, it is also a subversion of the mainstream values. Internet users can be through the spoof of classic discourse to deconstruct and reproduce, to create their own words (Kavanagh, 2016). Thirdly, expression pack is combined with current hot events and characters, with the advantages of social network platform in disseminating, it is easy to quickly resonate with Internet users, thereby enhancing the discussion of a topic on the Internet. In addition to popular stars and stars on line, some variety show, movies, TV series and animation works can be taken as materials by netizens to make expression pack (Derks et al., 2007). Fourthly, Emotional symbols can lead to association to add chat content, emotional symbols become an important medium for people to communicate, it is an effective complement to text (Mahajan and Mulay, 2015). Jaeger and Ares (2017) said that people have once resorted to the abstract meaning delivered by literal symbols, which has been beginning to give way to reality and feelings based on image propagation. Jaeger and Ares (2017) believed that emotional symbols can visually represent the information exchanged and add the text content. The appearance of expression pack to a certain extent avoids the monotony of pure text communication and makes up for the lack for visual experience to provide attitude, emotion, voice and other important supplementary information. Rodrigues et al. (2017) found, emotional symbols can lead to people's association, reflecting the connotation and extension of things. As the language symbols are ambiguous, in communication, people can use expression pack to understand meaning. Finally, with the development of network culture, many users are not satisfied with the official expression pack provided by instant messaging software, they begin to find their own material to produce, reproduce and disseminate expression pack (Jaeger and Ares, 2017). For example, a fan group who like a star will be keen on spread of the expression pack of the star, the elderly group like the expression pack with traditional neon font and expression pack full of positive energy, and young people who are keen on moe culture and shut-in culture have their exclusive expression pack (Jaeger et al., 2017). Those ho produce and use the same kind of expression pack form a small circle, people interact in the circle to form cultural identity, which invisibly promotes the development of network culture, reflecting the inclusive and diversified characteristics of network culture in the new media era (Marengo, Giannotta and Settanni, 2017).#p#分页标题#e#
2.4.3 Types of expression pack
Since the birth of expression pack, there are a number of types in China, from the functional point of view, expression pack can be divided into the following types: those which can reflect the current hot people and events, expression pack used to express emotion, expression pack used to greet in communication and expression pack used to ridicule, spoof, and so on (Mahajan and Mulay, 2015; Jaeger and Ares; 2017). Considering from the protagonists of expression pack, expression pack can be divided into: stars, folks, animation, animals and so on (Marengo, Giannotta and Settanni, 2017; Jaeger and Ares; 2017). In terms of the format, expression package usually uses PNG format, JPG format, JPG format, EIF format and so on. JPG format is usually used to create a static expression pack, gif is usually used to make dynamic expression pack, EIF can be used to create dynamic and static expression pack, but it can only usually be used in the production of expression pack used in QQ, PNG format has all the advantages that gif and JPG format has, and it also has some of its own unique advantages, such as: the color is more real and it is easier to be spread (Jaeger et al., 2017; Marengo, Giannotta and Settanni, 2017).
This study was based on the characteristics, functions and types of expression pack to analyze the differences between middle-age, old people’s and young people’s motivation, preference, behavior in the use of expression pack.
2.5 Critical analysis
Visual culture, visual communication theory and Meme theory show that visual communication has become more and more important in today's society. Expression pack has become an important part of network visual communication. The above empirical study has also confirmed that the use of expression pack in China's online society has been a widespread phenomenon, its development is not only related to the network and technology, but also concerned with the network and social culture, Internet users’ habits. There has been a study on differences in network communication between Chinese middle-aged, old people and young people, but there is no research on the differences in the use of expression pack. This study explored the differences in the use of expression pack in order to fill the gaps in this area. The theoretical innovation of this study was not only to fill the gaps, but also to provide a theoretical analysis framework for the future study on the differences in the use of expression pack in other segment markets.
This chapter reviews the theories of visual culture, visual communication, Meme and so on, as well as reviews the empirical research on expression pack and the differences of online communication behavior between middle-aged, old people and young people. The next chapter, it will introduce the methodology of this study.
Chapter III Methodology 方法论
3.1 Introduction of this chapter
This chapter describes the research philosophy, research methods and research approach used, and how the information collected was analyzed.
3.2 Epistemology and methodology
From the point of view of interpretation, the world is subjectively constructed by people, there is no objective world separating from subjective factors of people; so people should not sum up what general laws exist, but should understand the differences in the world and the meaning behind (Creswell, 2003). Interpretivist researchers argue that people's perception of the world comes from people's experience and perspectives, and researchers should explain, deconstruct, or rebuild people's experiences and opinions through scientific research in their special context (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2007). According to the theory of interpretivism, middle-aged, old Internet users and young Internet users are different in using expression pack, the reasons and performance for these differences are not the same. The differences between the two groups are closely related to the differences in knowledge structure, living background and preferences. To understand the difference between the two in using expression pack, it needs to analyze the differences between the two groups in specific context.
Methodology refers to the way that people use to understand the world (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2007). Normally, people who hold interpretive epistemology usually use constructivist methodology to understand the world (Creswell, 2003). Constructivist methodology emphasizes that the objective world is actively constructed by people, and the construction of the objective world is influenced by special situations, which is not universal and repeated, different people have different understandings on a same problem (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2007). Considering from the characteristics of this study, although the differences between middle, old people and young people in using expression pack are ubiquitous, but because of differences in context, position and other background factors, the performance and the reasons for the differences are different. Through constructivist research, it can understand how differences between the two caused by differences in the context are constructed, so as to provide a reference for the researcher to understand the differences.
3.3 Research approach
Qualitative research is the research approach based on interpretivist epistemology and constructivist methodology (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2007). Researchers use historical review, literature analysis, interview, observation and other methods to obtain information of research objects in specific situations, and use non-quantitative means to analyze it to acquire research results (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2007). This study used qualitative research approach to understand the differences between middle-aged, old Internet users and young Internet users in using expression pack to analyze the causes of these differences.#p#分页标题#e#
3.4 Research methods
The author was mainly through semi-structured interviews to collect qualitative information. The semi-structured interview is characterized by that its structural level is between structured interviews and free interviews. Interviewers can first develop an outline of the interview in advance. During the interview, interviewers can make adjustments to the outline according to the specific situation of the interview. Advantages of using a semi-structured interview include that it is more flexible than a structured interview, and the interview process is easier to be controlled than a free interview, and it costs less time than free interviews, moreover, it is beneficial for a researcher to understand the psychology, motivation and the process of thinking changes of research objects. Disadvantage of using semi-structured interview is that it takes more time than quantitative research, and number of research objects of an semi-structured interview is far less than that of questionnaire, and the result acquired is not easy to be processed by statistical analysis, and the researchers are required to have high generalization and analysis abilities.
3.5 Semi-structured interview
The interviewees of the interview in this study were 7 young Chinese Internet users, 7 middle-aged, old Chinese Internet users. In accordance with the UN standards, people who are less than 44 years old are young people, those who are over the age of 44 are middle-aged and old people. The interview objects were recruited by the author through posting threads in China's largest online community. There were more than 55 people who expressed their willingness to participate in the survey by mail, the author randomly selected 7 young Internet users, 7 middle-aged and old Internet users, personal background information of the Internet users was shown in Table 1. The interviews were conducted through the Skype, interview of each time lasted for 15 minutes. The interviewer first introduced the purpose of the interview to the interviewees, and some of the professional concepts and issues might occur in the communication were announced before the interview. The outline of this semi-structured interview mainly included 10 questions, which mainly helped the author to understand the characteristics of their use of expression pack and the reasons for that. In the course of the interview, the author would make a detailed inquiry towards the interviewees according to the needs of the research, and the interviewees were allowed to answer questions freely according to the question, so as to express what they want to say as much as possible. After acquired the approval from the interviewees, the contents of each interview were recorded. For the convenience of analysis, the author converted the recording into text format.
No Code of the interviewee #p#分页标题#e#Gender Age Profession
1 N Female 23 Postgraduate student
2 M Male 27 Journalist
3 L Male 40 Courier
4 K Male 34 Liberal profession
5 J Female 29 Blue-collar worker
6 I Male 19 College student
7 H Male 38 Business man
8 G Female 45 Private-owner
9 F Male 51 Teacher
10 E Female 63 Writer
11 D #p#分页标题#e#Male 47 Bank clerk
12 C Female 58 Housewife
13 B Female 69 Retiree
14 A Male 55 Gatekeeper
Table 1 Personal information of the interviewees
3.6 Qualitative data analysis
In this study, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to analyze the interview data, which was mainly from the three levels to analyze the respondents’ answer. The first level was to understand their motivations in using expression pack, the second level was to understand the behavior characteristics of their use of expression pack, including preferences of what kind of expression pack, in what circumstances they like to use expression pack, and so on. The third level analyzed their preference for different types of expression packs.
This study was based on Zhu’s (2017) qualitative data analysis steps for analysis. It first of all determined the coding criteria and ed a table, as shown in Table 1. The contents coded in this study included the author's view, the number of showing the views, positions of the views in the interview draft, interviewees who expressed the views, and so on. Then, the author made himself be familiar with the interview draft, and in accordance with the coding standard to mark the draft, these points were marked in the blanks of the draft, and the results of coding were summarized to fill in the table. Finally, based on the contents of the table to analyze the interview draft, so as to understand the information encoded, then it would understand whether there was a relationship between the codes.
Code Point of view Times Position in the interview draft Interviewee
A: motivation, objects and effect of using expression pack A1: express emotions
A7: family members
A8: make communication effective
A9: make communication interesting
A10: ease communication atmosphere
B: Channels to get expression pack B1:Channels to get expression pack
B2: whether it is made by themselves
C: and content of expression pack C1: like dynamic expression pack
C2: like static expression pack
C7: public event
Table 2 Coding of interview material
3.7 Research ethics
Results of this study were used only for academic research and they would not be used for other commercial purposes. At the same time, the author personally participated in the collection of research literatures, implementation of the interviews, as well as analysis of the interview information, the author repeatedly checked to avoid errors as much as possible. During the interview, the author promised to protect the respondents' personal privacy, the purpose, contents of the interview were informed in advance to the respondents. In the interview process, the respondents were not induced to say what were contrary to their original wishes, and what they said was objectively and impartially recorded and analyzed by the author.
This chapter describes the research methods used, and the next chapter introduces the results of the semi-structured interviews.#p#分页标题#e#
Chapter IV Results 结果
This chapter introduces the results of the semi-structured interview.
4.2.1 Functions and purpose of using expression pack
Q1: What do you think of the impact that expression pack brings to your communication?
In the interview with middle-aged, old interviewers, A, B, E, F, G mentioned that expression pack made their communication with other people more interesting; C, D, F, G found that expression pack helped to facilitate more accurate mutual understanding between two sides in communication; A, C, E, F, G pointed out that expression pack made some very tough words become not so harsh, so that other people could listen to them better.
In the interview with young interviewees, H, I, J, K, L, N thought that expression pack made communication more interesting, so that they and the other side of communication have become very happy to make the communication be carried out easily and smoothly. I, J, K, M believed that using expression pack helped them to separate from making other people angry when he ridiculed them; H, K, L, M found that expression pack allowed other people to understand what he said and his attitude more accurately; H, L, M analyzed that using expression pack was easy to break the embarrassment in communication, so that communication became very smooth; I, K, M figured that expression pack was now very popular, using it in communication was fashionable, it also made the communication atmosphere easier.
The above interview results revealed that although middle-aged, old people and young people different in some specific point of view, in general, the two still agreed with that the use of expression pack helped them to better express their views, by building a harmonious communication atmosphere to make communication smooth.
Q2: Whom do you communicate with when you use expression pack?
The middle-aged, old interviewees such as A, B, C, D, E, G said that they mainly used expression pack in communication with their children. B, C, D, E, F said that in addition to their children, they mainly used expression pack in communication with their old friends or work partners, when they were asked about whether they have used expression pack in communication with strangers, they denied. Only E, F mentioned that even in the exchange with strangers, they also used expression pack.
In the interview with young interviewees, H, I, J, K, L, M, N answered that they use expression pack when they communicated with different people, I, J, K, L, M said they usually used expression pack when they chatted with young people, but they did not use it in communicating with parents or elders. When they were asked about whether they would use expression pack in communication with those whom they were not familiar with, they said yes. H, K, L, M also said that they liked to use expression pack in forums and group chat.#p#分页标题#e#
The above interview results indicted that the middle-aged, old people mainly used expression pack in communication with their own children, very close friends or work partners, and the young people mainly used expression package in communication with their familiar people, netizens who they were not familiar with and their not very close friends.
Q3: What do you want to express with expression pack?
The results of interviews with middle-aged, old people showed that A, B, C, D, F, G indicated that they used expression pack to communicate with their children, persuading them and telling them to deal with their problems in learning, work and life well. A, B, C, D, E, G figured that they used expression pack to greet other people, or send a blessing, or encourage other people to work and study.
Results of the interviews with young interviewees showed that H, K, J, L, M said that they used expression pack to greet other people, or to cause other people's attention; I, J, K, L, M, N emphasized that the use of some expression pack was now a cool thing, especially using those paid download expression pack was easy to cause everyone's envy and concern. J, K, L, M explained that they use expression pack to self-ridicule, ridicule or spoof friends, which was mainly to adjust the atmosphere; H, I, M, N felt that they used expression pack sometimes in order to argue with other people on a topic.
The above results proved that middle-aged, old people use expression pack to usually express their care, greeting, persuasion and other more serious emotions and attitudes, and young people used expression pack to usually cause other people's attention, express a joke, self-mockery, ridicule, show off, or to show other similar emotions and attitudes.
4.2.3 Channels to get expression pack
Q4: How do you get expression pack?
Among the middle-aged and elderly respondents, A, B, C, D, F, G said that their expression packs were acquired from friends and their children when communicating with them. A, C, D, E, G said that they acquired through downloading from the Internet.
Among the young interviewees, H, K, J, L, M, N said that their expression packs were mainly gained from Internet downloading and the delivery from friends. H, I, M, N mentioned that most of expression packs were downloaded from the Internet, and some of them were purchased. I, M, N answered that his expression packs were downloaded from the Internet and bought and some of them were made by themselves.
In summary, the middle-aged, old people got emotion pack mostly from friend, their children, followed by downloading from the network, and the young people obtained expression pack through downloading, other people’s transferring ,paying for it, making expression pack by themselves, and so on.
Q5: Do you like to make expression pack by yourself, why?
All of the middle-aged and old interviewees said that they didn't like making it. A, B, C, D, F, G explained that the existing expression pack could meet their needs, D,F,G said that he hadn't thought of this problem, A, B, C, D, F, G said that making expression pack should be very difficult, they did not have this kind of skills.#p#分页标题#e#
All the young people said that they were very fond of making their expression pack, and H, K, J, L, M, N said that making expression pack could be more expressive to show what they want to say. H, I, K, J, L, M believed that it could show their ability by making their own expression pack, good expression pack could be shared by netizens, which brought them a great sense of achievement. K, J, L, M said that some existing expression pack was interesting, but the text was not good enough, and they would be more interesting when they were re-improved.
To sum up, middle-aged and old people don't like to make expression pack, and young people like it.
4.2.3 Design and content of expression pack
Q6: What kind of expression pack does you like (including the color, the font, the content, the material, dynamic or static)?
The results of the interviews with middle-aged, old people showed that A,B,C, believed that their favorite colors were mainly red, yellow, blue, D,E chose red, yellow, blue, green, F,G liked red, Blue and green.
A, B, C, F, G said that they liked expression pack with big font, while the font should be neat enough. E, D thought that they have no special requirements for the font, art fonts were ok, and it should also be neat, big font was better. When they were asked about if they were particularly fond of the font and the pattern with flickering visual effects, A, B, C, E, F, G agreed with that, D held a neutral attitude about that.
A, B, C, E, F felt that they liked the expression pack which was best able to express a good wish, C, E, F, G said they liked expression pack which was very humorous, but it should not spoof. A, B, C, E, F, G explained that they still liked positive expression pack.
A, B, D, E said that materials they liked in expression pack included flowers, children, poetry, blessings, famous stars, etc., and when they were asked about what kind of stars they liked, they said they liked more positive stars, rather than those stars with tattoo, odd hair colors. C,F,G mentioned that they liked the materials including scenery, roses, peony flowers, children, and some popular materials, and when they were asked about some popular expression pack materials in China, such as Kumamon, they said they were not very familiar with it and they did not liked it so much.
When they were asked about whether they like dynamic or static expression packs, all middle-aged and old respondents said that they preferred static expression pack.
Results of the interviews with the young people showed that H, L, M, N said that their favorite colors were mainly red, yellow, blue, purple, green, etc., when they were asked if they liked bright red, bright purple, bright green, they answered that it was what the elders liked, they did not like too bright color. I, J, K indicated that they have no special preference for color. J even suggested that black and white were nice. K added that as long as it looks fashionable, it is ok to be unworldly.#p#分页标题#e#
All young people said that they did not particularly care about the font used in expression pack, I, J, K mentioned that as long as the font was clear, that was ok. H, L, M liked font with a better personality, and they did not like font with the visual effect of flashing.
H, L, M thought that their favorite expression pack should be funny, humorous and self-deprecating. I, J, K liked personalized and unique expression pack. L, M, J believed that they preferred cute expression pack. K, L felt that they liked expression pack which could be used to spoof and ridicule.
H, K, L, answered that their favorite emoticon pack materials included animals, children, celebrities, etc. I, J indicated that what their favorite were anime, hand-drawing emoticon pack. M,N explained that they have no particular preference for material, as long as it was fun, and it was not tacky, that was ok.
H, I, K, L, M, N said that they liked dynamic and static expression packs. J mentioned that he preferred dynamic expression pack, but he did not rule out static expression pack, some static expression packs were also interesting.
To sum up, from the angle of color, middle-aged, old people like bright colors, while young people thought that both cold colors and bright colds are acceptable, they do not like collocation of a variety of bright colors, they feel that it is so old-fashioned. In terms of fonts, middle-aged and old people prefer big and neat fonts, and the font often comes with a visual effect that flashes. Young people's prefer small fonts, and they should not be unblinking fonts. In terms of content, middle-aged, old people most like those which can express good intentions and positive energy. And young people prefer humorous, personalized, lovely, mocking emoticon pack. The main materials used in emoticon pack that middle-aged, old people like are flower, children, and the image of positive stars. And the young people like animal, children, star animation, hand-painted emoticon pack and so on. Middle-aged, old people preferred static expression packs and young people liked both dynamic and static expression packs.
Q7: Do you enjoy and use expression pack associated with public events, such as Wang Yongping's expression pack, the Olympic expression pack, the state department spokesman's expression pack, expression pack related to the south China sea dispute, and other similar expression packs?
Among the middle-aged and elderly respondents, A, B, G indicated that they less likely to use such emoticon pack, because these kinds of emoticon packs were not in line with their communication needs. C, E found that they rarely used such emoticon packs, because it was not appropriate to make spoofs with government staff. D, F said that they seldom used these expression packs, but he still used the expression pack of the south China sea dispute, because it showed the willingness to love the motherland.
Among young people interviewed, all the respondents said that they enjoyed using the expression packs associated with public events. H, I, K, N said that they liked this type expression packs, as there was obvious unreasonable phenomenon in the government’s dealing with the events, using expression packs related to the public events was to show their unsatisfied attitude towards the unreasonable things in their real life. J, M believed that they used these expression packs because they could make the atmosphere of online communication become both serious and funny, which liked watching a man to tell a joke in a serious manner. L said that using these expression packs was also a fashion, these expressions packs related to the public events were very popular on the Internet, people used them, some were used to criticize the government, some of them were to support the government, anyway, these expression packs were really popular at the time.#p#分页标题#e#
To sum up, middle-aged and old people are less interested in using expressions pack associated with social events, and younger respondents have used it before. They use the expression pack to express their mockery and distrust towards unfair social events or the government.
This chapter introduces the results of the semi-structured interview, which will be discussed in depth in the next chapter by combining with relevant literatures.
Chapter V Discussion and recommendations 讨论与建议
In this chapter, it combines with relevant literatures to discuss and analyze the results of the semi-structured interview, so as to make recommendations on the future marketing strategies of Chinese enterprises dealing with expression pack and dissemination.
5.2 Differences in functions and purpose of using emoticon pack
Considering from the results of the interview, both young and middle-aged, old interviewees said that the use of expression pack was more suitable to express their feelings, so that chat objects could understand their meaning more accurately, making the chat atmosphere more harmonious. The reason for why expression pack has such a function lies in that in the past Internet communication, the human body is not present, those who involved in communication can not intuitively observe the opponent's expression and action, nor do they immediately get visual emotional feedback, they need to describe a mood, an attitude or a judge more accurately, more text symbols are needed to allow the brain to identify the text transferred by each other to associate, and then people cam read out the other's emotions, attitudes and value judgments. And people in the use of expression pack in communication can maximize the imitation of expressions in real life to invent the more immersive chat context with a sense of participation and resonance, the use of expression pack is essentially a kind of expression of emotion (Cornish, Goodman-Deane, Ruggeri and Clarkson, 2015; Ryan, 2016; Ross and Rivers, 2017; Jaeger and Ares, 2017).
It was noteworthy that the interview results showed that the middle-aged and old people in the use of expression pack usually expressed care, greeting, persuasion and other more serious emotions and attitudes, and young people used expression pack usually to express a joke, cause other people's attention, self-ridicule, ridicule, show off and show other emotions and attitudes, which was in line with Chao et al.’s (2017), Han et al.’s (2017) research results. This is mainly due to the following two aspects of reasons, first of all, it is learned through the results of the interview that the middle-aged and old people mostly used expression pack in communication with their children, friends or work partners, the purpose of their communication with the objects is mostly hoping that they can keep a good relationship with them, the purpose includes greeting, blessing old friends, reminding their children to pay attention to health and so on. In addition to their familiar people, young people also use expression pack to communicate with strange Internet users, they are more relaxed and they are not so serious in communicating with the Internet users, they use expression pack sometimes in order to attract the attention of others, some of them show off their own unique expression pack to other people, some of them use expression pack to counterattack and mock other people’s remarks, and some young people use it to self-deprecate their own behavior. Then, in the first half of the middle-aged and old people’s life, China's economy was not developed, the people advocated collectivism, they were not familiar with hip-hop culture, nor did they accept individualist culture. Along with the increase of age, personality tends to be stable, so they use expression pack to express more serious feelings. China's young people grow up in the period when China’s economy and living standards increase significantly, they accept hip-hop culture more than middle-aged, old people, they advocate individualism, they like and are good at expressing personal feelings, so they use expression pack to express more relaxed and diverse feelings.#p#分页标题#e#
5.3 Differences in channels to get expression pack
5.3.1 Reasons for the differences in channels to get expression pack
The differences between the middle-aged, old people and young people in the ways of acquiring expression pack revealed the two groups’ different attitudes in using expression pack. Because of the lack of network knowledge and skills, middle-aged and older people usually get expression pack with help from other people, usually their friends or children sent expression pack to them, and then they keep the expression pack in their own computer. In addition, they think that expression pack is only a medium of communication, they do not want to spend money on expression pack. And young people are more willing to spend money to buy their favorite expression pack, and they are willing to do it by themselves, and they spend time on learning how to make expression pack, showing that young people not only take expression pack as a medium of communication, but also regard it as a means of expressing their emotions and attitudes, expression pack occupies a very important proportion in the young people's network communication, when there is an interesting, personalized, stylish or cool expression pack, young people are willing to spend money to buy, so the use of this kind of expression pack in communication in the network can make themselves be more respected (Han et al., 2017; Yang et al., 2015). When young people feel that the expression pack on the network can not meet their needs to express their emotions and wishes, they are likely to learn to their own personal expression pack (Han et al., 2017; Yang et al., 2015).
The process of netizens’ use expression pack to narrate is a re-signification process. Stuart Hall argues that re-signification is to combine an item borrowed from a meaning system with a code of another meaning system, in order to change its "established" meaning, or by adding meaning to transform an item. In the context of the Internet, expression pack is undoubtedly what Stuart called "goods". Usually expression pack only provides a picture, and the majority of Internet users are by adding text to achieve re-signification, so as to achieve a new "meaning production", redefining the meaning of a picture (Rodrigues et al., 2017).
The interview results showed that the middle-aged and ole people themselves did not have much interest in making expression pack, and the young people were very interested in making expression pack, because first, making their own expression pack allowed them to better express their views; second, making their own expression package was a thing that could be shown off, indicating that young Internet users more like re-signification of expression pack than middle-aged and old people.
With the development of Chinese network expression pack culture, Internet users in the use of expression pack show many new features, such as: Internet users began to fight with pictures, that is, they do not use text to communicate, they completely use expression pack for debate and discussion, those who use expression pack with more sharp language and picture are more able to prevail in discussion or communication. In addition, expression pack has become a resource for a netizen to show off, some interesting expression pack need to be paid for downloading and using, some interesting expression pack will be collected and transferred between friends (Chao et al., 2017). In this case, expression pack with no characteristics or those are excessively used are not what Internet users’ favorite, so many Internet users, especially young Internet users have began to try to make their own expression pack. In addition, with the promotion of expression pack production tools and technology, more and more Internet users began to make their own expression pack, their own made expression pack is not only able to better express their attitude, and the produced excellent expression pack is more appreciated by friends and will be widely circulated to bring great satisfaction to the expression pack maker. Young netizens are keen to make expression pack, which is a re-signification process, in the process of re-signification, young netizens’ own views will be reflected more directly. This is closely related to the contemporary Chinese young people’s willingness to try and the courage to express their views (Chao et al., 2017). And middle-aged and old people are less interested in making expression pack, which is because first, they may not have so much willingness to express their views, ordinary expression pack is able to meet their communication needs, second, they may lack enough enthusiasm and technology to make expression pack.#p#分页标题#e#
According to Meme theory, middle-aged, old people’s use of expression pack is still in the first phase, namely, using the maintenance model of expression pack, package maintenance model of expression pack refers to non-modified multimedia information, which maximizes the retention of original content (Piata, 2016). Young people’s use of expression pack is in the second and third phases, that is, the modification model and expansion model of expression pack, expression pack of extension model is the content and information processed by second production and dissemination, becoming "dynamic Meme" (Ross and Rivers, 2017; Piata, 2016). Expression pack of modification model uses a broader "user generated content" (UGC) mechanism in social media platform to modify "dynamic Meme", through remixing, parodying, and even thoroughly rewriting and disruptive innovation to eventually develop it into mature Meme (Ross and Rivers, 2017; Piata, 2016).
5.4 Differences in preference of expression pack design and content
5.4 .1 Design of expression pack
Middle-aged, old people like bright colors, while young people accept both cold and warm colors, but they did not like to use a variety of bright colors, they felt that the colors were for hicks. Young people love hand-painted, animation, while middle-aged, old people like expression pack with flowers, children, stars with positive images, such as blooming peony, blooming roses and children, blooming peony, tender and beautiful roses often express good wishes, children are often humorous (for example, coupled with the adult's words), while Corgi dog, Kumamon are not favored by middle-aged and old people, perhaps they do not like animals as young people do.
Middle-aged, old people usually like to use expression pack with poetry, or rhyming words to express good wishes, the text is large and neat, and the font is often accompanied by flashing visual effects. Expression pack used by young people is usually accompanied by funny, self-deprecating, text, the font is relatively small, usually without flicker effect. Middle-aged, old people like static expression packs and young people loved dynamic and static expression packs.
It can be seen from the above analysis that in the selection of content, text, color of expression pack, the middle-aged, old people and the young people were totally different. Judging from the mainstream of the social point of view, Internet users generally think that the elderly like expression pack which is not fashionable and it is too serious. Older people prefer these types of expression packs because in general, middle-aged, old people were born in the 1940s-1960s, large, neat, serious and positive aesthetic style became the aesthetic style that people of the era generally love (Chao et al., 2017; Han et al., 2017). From the psychological point of view, social development of the information age is too fast, the general sense of the middle-aged groups’ discomfort and anxiety cause the a "nostalgia" psychology, which makes the elderly group be based on their past preferences, ideals to choose expression pack (Chao et al., 2017; Han et al., 2017). In addition, from a physiological point of view, people's visual perception is significantly reduced with age, ability of the elderly to adapt to dark and light declines, their ability to feel the entire spectrum, especially the cool tone reduces, so the elderly prefer bright colors, warm colors instead of black, white and other cool colors. At the same time, expression pack with a large font can be easy for the elderly to read and use (Chao et al., 2017; Han et al., 2017).#p#分页标题#e#
5.4.2 Expression pack and public events
Expression pack culture allows people to use expressions to show their point of view, to record daily life, and to be involved in social events. When expression pack is popular, whenever there are new public events, netizens can use expression pack to jokingly express their views and judgments (Mahajan and Mulay, 2015; Jaeger and Ares, 2017). When a group of netizens are through expression pack to convey a view on an event, or they are based on a scene of an event, event-related personnel photos or videos to make expression pack, the disseminated objects are symbolized and the dissemination effect can be improved significantly ( Chao et al., 2017). With its intuitive visual image and highly sticky communication effect, expression pack enables netizens to have ability of the further intervene in public events, and it makes an event itself be consumed as an entertainment object (Chao et al., 2017; Han et al., 2017).
Results of the interview showed that the middle-aged, old people did not have much interest in using expression pack related to social events, such as Wang Yongping's expression pack. He was a spokesman for the Ministry of Railways. In 2008, he said in response to a reporter's question on the results of the rail motor car accident investigation: I believe it, whether you believe it or not. Many people were based on this event to make an expression package, which is widely used on the network, but the interviewed middle-aged, old people have not used, while the young people inverviewed have used. They use the expression pack to express Internet users’ mockery and mistrust towards Wang Yongping or the government.
Young people are more likely to use expression pack to show their attention, comment, and criticize public events than the middle-aged, old people, which is not only because young people are more critical, but also a social a problem, that is, young Chinese take expression pack as a way to express their own opinion, anger. At present, the use of Chinese social expression pack is increasingly becoming a norm of daily communication. All kinds of expression packs are used by virtue of their strong immersion in daily life, achieving a carnival result. The concept of "carnival" means that a social hierarchy and power structure is often temporarily reversed by carnival, which makes the seriousness of the society seem ridiculous. Through expression pack, people are free to transform and ridicule serious things in a social order, in the virtual network space, it denies the social hierarchy and power structure, breaking the identity in real life to have an access to a security of "identity equality" (Chao et al., 2017). In the current Chinese society, young people have more personality, more critical spirit, they have a higher demand for the spirit of freedom and equality, in addition to learning, work, life pressure, they are more dissatisfied with the existing social systems, in the real world, due to political, economic, social status, young people fail to lead off their discontent. If they are exposed to the virtual space of the network, the real identity is once masked, they can use expression pack to express their views on social events, which helps them to have the power of transcending tradition and authority to express their views and dissatisfaction on society and life, they comment on, mock or even attack some of what they think is unfair. In the virtual space, they are through such role-playing to obtain a new identity positioning, enjoying the thrill of possession of the initiative in the virtual voice (Chao et al., 2017).#p#分页标题#e#
Based on the interview results and analysis on the results in this study, the author suggests on the marketing strategy for Chinese enterprises dealing with expression pack production and dissemination.
First of all, from the perspective of acquiring expression package, young people are more willing to spend money on it, and middle-aged, old people do not have the habit to pay for expression pack, so in the launch of paid expression pack, it should be based on the characteristic of what young people like to ; expression pack for middle-aged, old people should be free, it should take other model to profit, such as implant advertising. In addition, young people are keen on DIY expression pack, then the companies can consider to launch expression pack tools, at the same time, all kinds of materials for making expression pack can be introduced, the materials include expressions of stars and online celebrity, animal, cartoon, hand-painted materials, and so on, young Internet users can use these materials, coupled with proper text they like to their favorite expression pack, Internet users can access to download these materials by spending a fee.
Then, contents of expression pack should also aim at the preferences of middle-aged, old and young people. For middle-aged, old people, their favorite contents for expression pack should be relatively serious, positive. For young Internet users, they do not like too serious expression pack, thus it should pay attention to the entertainment of emoticon pack, or it should be critical or have a certain spoof. The main materials used for expression pack for middle-aged, old people should be flowers, children, as well as celebrities with positive images; while young people's favorite materials are animals, children, star animation, hand-painted materials and so on. Colors used for expression pack for middle-aged, old people should be red, blue, green and other bright colors, and young people like colors which should not be gaudy and rustic to highlight the fashion and personality. The text and patterns used for expression pack for middle-aged, old people should have flicker effect appropriately, while those for young people should avoid the flicker effect. In addition, expression pack for the elderly should be static expression pack, JPG format, whereas expression pack for the young can be static expression pack of JPG format, it can also be expression pack with GIF dynamic effect.
Finally, young people prefer expression pack related with public events, so expression pack ers should pay close attention to the social public events happening every day, and according to the characteristics of the public events to dig up the valuable information, through spoofing, mockery, joking or using humorous tone to change the information into expression pack. When there are social events which are dominated by patriotic emotions and positive energy, they can also be used as materials for ing emoticon pack for middle-aged, old people, as they are more concerned about such events.#p#分页标题#e#
In combination with related literatures, this chapter discusses and analyzes the semi-structure interview results, so as to recommend on the future marketing strategies for Chinese enterprises engaged in expression pack production and dissemination. In the next chapter, it will summarize the full text and to point out the limitations of this study and directions of further research.
Chapter VI Conclusion 结论
6.1 Introduction of this chapter
This chapter points out the main points, limitations of this study, as well as directions of further research.
6.2 Main points
The aim of this study was to discuss the similarities and differences between Chinese and middle-aged, old Internet users and young netizens in the use of expression pack.
The interview results of this study showed that middle-aged, old people and young people were similar in using expression pack to express their emotions more properly, allowing chat objects to have a more accurate understanding of their meaning and making the atmosphere of the chat more harmonious.
Differences between middle-aged, old and young people in using expression pack included that the middle-aged, old people usually use expression pack to express their care, greeting, persuasion and other serious emotions and attitudes; while young people used expression pack to joke, cause other people’s attention, self-ridicule, ridicule, show off or express other emotions and attitudes.
The middle-aged, old people acquired expression package most from their friends, children, less was acquired through downloading, and the young people often got expression pack by downloading, paying for it, and making by themselves and so on.
The middle-aged, old people liked expression pack with bright colors, and the young people could accept cold and warm colors, but they did not like the collocation of a variety of bright colors, they felt that it was unfashionable. Considering from the font point of view, the middle-aged, old people liked big and neat font, and the font was often accompanied by flashing visual effects. Font using in expression pack for young people was relatively small, usually there was no flicker. Considering from the content point of view, the middle-aged, old people liked positive expression pack which expressed good wishes. While young people preferred humorous, personal, cute expression packs. Middle-aged, old people liked expression packs with flowers, children, and stars with positive images. And young people liked expression packs with animal, children, star animation, hand-painted figures and so on. In addition, middle-aged, old people like static expression package, and young people liked both dynamic and static expression packs.
Middle-aged, old people did not have much interest in making expression pack by themselves, and young people were very interested in making expression pack, as making their own expression pack could better to express their views, and making their own expression pack was a thing which was worth of showing off, indicating that young Internet users were more willing to choose re-signification towards expression pack than middle-aged, old people.#p#分页标题#e#
The middle-aged, older people were not much interested in using expression pack related to social events, whereas the young respondents have used expression packs related to social events before. They used the expression packs to show their mockery and mistrust towards unfair social events or the government.
The author based on the interview results and related literatures, as well as the differences between middle-aged, old people and young people in the use of expression pack to recommend on the marketing strategies for Chinese enterprises engaged in expression package production and dissemination from the following aspects: expression pack , channels to get expression package, content of expression pack.
Limitations of this study are mainly reflected in the following two aspects: First of all, the conclusions of this study may lack representativeness to some extent. There are about 700 million Internet users in China, and the research objects in this study were only 14, to what extent can the conclusion of this study reflect the behavioral characteristics of China's middle-aged, old people and young Internet users in the use of expression pack is worthy of further discussion. Then, this research makes use of qualitative research and fails to use quantitative research, which is detrimental for the understanding how much difference between the middle-aged, old people and young people in the use of expression pack, just to determine the difference is not enough for the marketing practice of expression pack, it should determine whether this difference has a statistical difference. Finally, the use of expression pack includes multiple dimensions. This study mainly studied the function of expression pack and the purpose of using expression pack, the content of expression pack, channels to get expression package, the design of expression pack, etc., but there should be other dimensions which are not involved, which is detrimental for a comprehensive understanding of the behavior characteristics of Chinese Internet users in suing expression pack.
6.4 Further research
Future research can be improved from the following two aspects. Firstly, it should collect more samples, through interviews or questionnaires to collect information, which will help to have a more comprehensive understanding of the behavior characteristics of Chinese Internet users in using expression pack to improve the representativeness of the research results. Secondly, quantitative research and qualitative research methods should be used together, through qualitative research to determine the differences between middle-aged, old people and young people in the use of expression packs and through quantitative research to determine whether these differences were statistically different. The results concluded may be more scientific to guide specific practices. Finally, it should continue to improve the framework of research on behavior of using expression package, from a more comprehensive perspective to study the behavior characteristics of Chinese Internet users’ using expression pack.#p#分页标题#e#