There’s no list of authors who use this, only the great J.K. Rowling! Despite being originally written for children, the Harry Potter series is a huge hit amongst young adults and adults as well. Pottermore is a website that allows users to explore Harry’s story through interactive pictures. By collecting items along the way, new writing about Harry Potter’s world from J.K. Rowling is unlocked. But is Pottermore social media, or just a game? Let us return to the definition of social media in our introduction.
Daniel Nations compares regular media as a one-way street where you can read or listen to information, but have limited ability to give thoughts. Social media is then like a two-way street where you can communicate as well. So, social media is “a website that doesn’t just give you information, but interacts with you while giving you that information.”
Does Pottermore interact with users while they explore it? The site is designed to keep the users private, likely for the safety of young fans. People cannot pick their own usernames, I for example am NifflerNettle13766. Go Hufflepuff! There is also limited chatting between players. The only place players can insert their own comments or reactions is in a comment section below each level, or in their common room. While safe for children, these blocks may be frustrating to teen users who want more freedom in a networking site.
Players can also send gifts to other players they have added to their friends list:
The explanation on the website itself about Pottermore: “Key scenes from Harry Potter’s story are depicted through a series of beautifully illustrated interactive Moments.” The important word here is interactive, as that was one of the main points in Nations’ definition. In contrast, those who argue Pottermore is not social media could rightfully say that the site only allows for limited ability to give thoughts.
I would be inclined to label Pottermore as social media, but that would then open up the social media genre to include other online gaming. What do you think? Leave your comments below.