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Social media increasingly being used to follow big events

US Flag

Social media increasingly being used to follow big events

A new US study has found that the use of smartphones and social media to follow the country’s midterm elections has doubled.

With many more Americans taking to their handheld devices to follow the campaign trail, it is a sign of the more widespread trust in the posts being offered on news feeds.

Concerning the use of mobiles, around 28% of registered US voters were found to be following the 2014 elections on their smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center. This is up from 13% during the last round of midterms in 2010.

The target audience for such devices also seems to be changing, with the use of smartphones increasing dramatically in the 30-49 age bracket. While in 2010 only 15% of this group used mobiles to check up on the candidates, this year the figure stood at 40%.

Many, if not most, of the candidates have now taken to social media as well to help with their election hopes. The proportion of Americans following and engaging on such platforms has seen an increase from 6% in 2010 to 16% for the current election cycle. For 30 to 49-year-olds, the percentage using social media had changed from 6% to 21%.

In fact, the usage of mobile devices and social media platforms by the 30-49 age group now almost mirrors the 18-29 bracket, according to the report. This increased use of technology across age groups will mean that candidates’ messages online will reach a wider audience than previously thought.

Tom Evans
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