Anne Helmond is Associate Professor of Media, Data & Society at Utrecht University. She co-leads the focus area ‘Governing the Digital Society’ with Prof. José van Dijck. Here, her research focuses on the processes of platformization, algorithmization, and datafication from an empirical and historical perspective. Her work emphasizes the material and programmable (data) infrastructures that underpin these processes.

Her research primarily focuses on developing methods for empirically and historically examining the process of platformization, the politics of platforms, platform governance, and the operationalization of platform power. In addition, she is actively working on the development of digital methods to investigate how apps and app stores mediate sociocultural issues and practices, as well as to explore the political economy of mobile data flows.

She is a member of the international research collectives Digital Methods Initiative (2007–) and App Studies Initiative (2017–) developing methods for examining the history and (data) infrastructure of social media platforms and apps. Her research interests include digital methods, software studies, platform studies, platformization, platform governance, app studies, critical data studies, and web history.

In her dissertation ‘The web as platform: Data flows in social media‘ (2015) and article 'The Platformization of the Web' (2015), Anne developed the notion of “platformization” to conceptualise the rise of the platform as the dominant infrastructural and economic model of the web and its expansion and integration into other websites, apps, and industries. Her dissertation received an honorable mention in the AoIR 2016 Best Dissertation Award for standing “to make a significant long-term impact in the field”.

Anne’s work has been published in highly-ranked peer-reviewed journals such as New Media & Society, Big Data & Society, Theory, Culture & Society, Media, Culture & Society, Social Media + Society, Internet Histories, First Monday, and Computational Culture.

She is currently supervising PhDs on the evolution of automation practices and platform governance, and the platformisation of education.


Open Science and Data sets

Anne has a strong commitment to collaborative work and team science, as well as open science by publishing open access and making data sets available. The Open Science Framework hosts a number of co-authored data sets, including:

Grants and Awards

  • 2021: Collaborative Research Centre “Transformations of the Popular”.
    • German Research Foundation (DFG). Co-PI, with Johannes Paßmann, University of Siegen. Sub-project: “A Historical Technography of Online Commenting” (2021–2024). 
  • 2020: WODC-onderzoek: Webharvesting door culturele erfgoedinstellingen.
    • Offerte Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC), ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid. Martin Senftleben, Joris van Hoboken, Jef Ausloos, Stef van Gompel, João Quintais (Instituut voor Informatierecht, UvA), Anne Helmond (Mediastudies, UvA).
  • 2020: ESRC COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant.
    • Michael Dieter, Anne Helmond, Nathaniel Tkacz, Esther Weltevrede, Fernando N. van der Vlist, Jason Chao. Project: “COVID-19 App Store and Data Flow Ecologies”.
  • 2019: Working Groups Grant.
    • Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), Bochum, Germany. Markus Burkhardt, Anne Helmond, Tatjana Seitz and Fernando N. van der Vlist. Project: “Data sharing troubles: Tracing the evolution of Facebook’s Graph API.”
  • 2017: NWO Veni Grant.
    • Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Veni, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Project: “App ecosystems: A critical history of apps” (2017–2021). In this project Anne developed novel digital methods for writing app histories on three interrelated levels – individual apps, app stores, and platforms – to understand the emergence of this new cultural form.
  • 2017: Cutting Edge Research Fund, Network Grant – Initiate.
    • Sustainable Humanities Programme. Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR), University of Amsterdam. Project: “App Studies Initiative: An International Network for Advancing Research into Mobile Apps” (2017).
  • 2016: The Association of Internet Researchers
    • Best Dissertation Award. Honorary mention.


Previous positions

  • 2015–2022: Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam.
  • 2021–2022: Principal Investigator of the project “Historische Technografie des Online-Kommentars” within the DFG funded SFB 1472 “Transformationen des Populären” at the University of Siegen, Germany.
    • Currently (2022–) Anne is an affiliated researcher examining the history of online commenting systems and practices with SFB 1472.
  • Spring 2019: Comenius Professor of Digital Methods and Web History at the University of Siegen, Germany.