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US study links levels of Twitter activity to election success

US study links levels of Twitter activity to election success

A study carried out by a university in the US state of Indiana claims to have a found a direct correlation between Twitter activity and the results of the country’s elections.

More specifically, the results showed a link between the number of mentions a political candidate receives on the network and their performance at the end of a campaign. In short, the more mentions received, the more likely they were to win.

Other previous studies have highlighted loose relationships between Twitter activity and performances at major events. Back in 2010, for instance, it was found that the best way to accurately predict the success of a film prior to its release was by analysing Twitter activity. Research elsewhere has highlighted a correlation between Twitter topics and the performance of the stock market.

Discussing the findings in The Atlantic, one writer pointed out that the study shows how, in the case of politics, all chatter on the site is good chatter.

However, whether or not the same could be said for brand success is yet to be seen. Many companies now use the social network to encourage positive discussion and provide followers with industry news, commentaries and information on new products and services.

According to The Atlantic, while almost one in 10 (eight per cent) adults in the US check their Twitter news feeds every day, just 15 per cent of American adults have an account on the network.

In a similar vein to the Indiana university study, an online political tool in the UK, Tweetminster, used Twitter data to accurately predict the results of the 2010 general election.

Richard Bell

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