|dc.description.abstract||Over the years, social media has been growing and changing exponentially. With that
comes the importance of social media marketing and the need for user interaction and
engagement. To keep up with the changes, marketeers are forced to continuously keep
adapting their (digital-) marketing strategies as well as their overall marketing efforts.
Research suggests that gamification can be used as a useful tool to add- and build
sustained value through interpersonal interactions.
Existing research shows a limitation when it comes to linking gamification to theoretical
principles, the connection is thin, and the empirical research is scarce. The existing studies
have mainly been founded on similar, often motivation-related theories – with in
particular the Self-Determination Theory, with some studies lacking a theoretical
foundation entirely. Additionally, limitations were recognised in the existing research
merely investigating the connection between few gamification mechanics and/or brandrelated
aspects, only covering a few aspects of gamification.
Therefore, this thesis aims to contribute to the existing research by analysing how
Duolingo, a language learning platform, uses different gamification elements in their
A qualitative content analysis is conducted with the data consisting of 353 Instagram posts
from Duolingo, published between October 2012 and January 2021.
The findings show the utilisation of multiple, frequently used gamification elements
across different social media post types, as well as close relations between different
gamification dimensions, i.e. the five different groups Performance/measurement,
Ecological, Social, Personal, and Fictional, with each of these group including a number
of different gamification elements, such as Acknowledgement, Chance, and Competition,