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How the U.S. presidential election shook social media

Posted on November 15, 2016

 

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last week, you’ll already be aware that Donald Trump recently won the U.S. presidential election. Furthermore, it appears that the search for the 45th President of the United States lead to huge numbers of us voicing our opinions on social media.

The election is one of those topics that gets everyone talking, whether or not they are eligible to actually vote. For the social networks, this event is a goldmine for getting people to use these platforms and to interact with other users. Needless to say, the two biggest networks, Facebook and Twitter, were quick to reveal statistics relating to activity on those sites in the buildup to, and on, election day.

Twitter released statistics regarding the election, and these show that it is the most tweeted about election to date, with 75 million tweets being sent about the topic just on the day itself. If you compare that to the 2012 election where Obama was reelected, this had a peak of just 31 million tweets.

The Twitter account ‘Twitter Government’, which uses the user handle @gov and is dedicated to providing updates on such matters, shared the statistics and was on hand to provide a number of facts and figures on the night, as well as in the aftermath of Trump’s victory.

This account used the event as an opportunity to provide updates and statistics about the vote all day, perhaps in a similar fashion to how Sky Sports treats Transfer Deadline Day in the UK. As well as a live stream of tweets and running commentary, it also provided live video of the results coming through the night.

It was even able to create a video showing where Americans were tweeting from in the run-up to the polls closing, in the form of a heatmap.

It also provided a number of other interesting statistics, such as that 73% of live viewers on election night were using mobile devices. This is just another statistic that shows the importance of mobile to digital age and everything online.

The result of this election was so important, the even the official Twitter account dedicated a tweet to announcing the result of the election:

In terms of Facebook, the social networking giant revealed that more than 115 million people discussed the election on November 8, resulting in more than 716 million posts, comments, likes and shares on the platform relating to one of the closest and most gripping elections in recent history. However, the site did not comment on how this activity compared to that of previous presidential elections.

Social media is one of the first outlets that people turn to when they wish to announce something important and voice their opinion, so it is no surprise that these networks were in overdrive during the last few days, and that these statistics are so high.

Alan Littler

Account Executive at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Account Executive.

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