Digital Storytelling (DST) is defined as telling stories using digital means. It has been initially applied for diverse purposes, including in community development, therapeutic benefits, and as an aid in teaching and learning. DST has recently been broadly used on social media platforms for marketing, running campaigns, journalism, and much more. However, no comprehensive systematic or thematic review of DST in social media has been conducted. Accordingly, this paper aims to provide a thematic review of DST in social media. The thematic review was carried out on 50 articles published from 2016 to 2021. These 50 discrete studies were selected because they met the inclusion criteria based on the research question of this review. The thematic review used ATLAS.ti as a tool to assist the review process. The results indicated that DST in social media was appropriate for marketing, including branding and advertising. Besides, using DST in social media over the years for education, training, professional development, community development and services, running campaigns, and therapy has significantly impacted these areas. Across the research articles, including case studies and essays, authors have reported several benefits of using DST in social media.


digital storytelling, social media, thematic review, social media storytelling

Author Bio(s)

Ameer Fathima Musfira is a Lecturer (Prob) attached to the Department of Information and Communication Technology, Faculty of Technology, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, and currently pursuing an M.Sc. in Multimedia Studies (By research) at Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia. Her research interests are on Digital Storytelling and Human-Computer Interaction, and her current research is related to digital storytelling in social media and persuasive technologies. Please direct correspondence to ameermusfi@seu.ac.lk

Nurulhuda Ibrahim is a senior lecturer at the School of Multimedia Technology and Communication, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia. Her research interests are on User Experience Design, Persuasive Design and Game Design. Her current works are related to the impact of persuasive technology on users. Please direct correspondence to nurulhuda@uum.edu.my

Harryizman Harun is a senior lecturer at the Department of Multimedia Technology, School of Multimedia Technology and Communication, College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia. He has been lecturing and researching since 2004. His research interest is digital storytelling, 2D animation and folk literature. Please direct correspondence to harry@uum.edu.my.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Ameer Fathima Musfira : https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9765-9968 Nurulhuda Ibrahim : https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3938-3999 Harryizman bin Harun : https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2033-7407


Nurulhuda Ibrahim : N-4814-2018 Harryizman bin Harun: K-7064-2015



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