Sunday, January 6, 2013

Politicians Trended More Than Ever on Twitter in 2012

Photo source: Twitter

Though talk has often been referred to as “cheap”, tweeting could be something of great worth. Allowing some with difficulties talking to share thoughts, finding the wealth of other people’s thoughts and even the chance to interact with someone you would have otherwise never met is a strong positive to Twitter‘s allure to over 500 million users. Of those users in 2012, an increasing number are leading public official of many nation governments.


2012 Ranking of World Leaders on Twitter

Tracking the impact of world leaders on Twitter and other social media networks, the Digital Policy Council (DPC) released their 2012 report how politicians are reaching out over the electronic micro-blogging service. On Twitter right now, newly-re-elected president of the United States Barack Obama dominates in the Follower count with over 24,600,000 as of this past December. Obama’s Twitter Followers dwarfs the second highest Twitter account in Followers by more than 20,000,000 users. According to a study released by the DPC, the President of Venezuela Hugo Chevez maintains a second place ranking with above 3.8 million Followers. Turkish President Abdullah Gul is third in the DPC ranking and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordon is fourth. Rounding out the top five on the 2012 list of Twitter accounts is Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The current United States President is recorded as the earliest world leader to find Twitter on the service prior to taking office in March of 2007. In regards to early Twitter adopters, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Belgium Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper followed Obama as early adopters during 2007. In 2012, Mexican President Nieto was ninth in the overall ranking while Prime Minister Harper of Canada placed 21st. Joining Twitter in January of 2012, Prime Minister of India’s Manmohan Singh entered the ranking in 19th spot racking up more than 390,000 Followers in less than a year.

In the recent report issued out by the Digital Policy Council, three out of four world leaders now maintain a Twitter account. Out of the 164 countries recorded in the 2012 report, 123 leaders can now be followed by an official Twitter feed. Just as intriguing as the shear number of world leaders’ taking part in the major social network is the single year growth. With only 69 political leaders on Twitter in 2011, there has been a 78 percent increase in only a 12-month period. DPC believes the proliferation of Twitter and other social media is effective for connecting with national as well as global audiences.


Twitter and the US Election

Presentation of random thoughts or the ability to convey serious messages has made Twitter an instant reactor to current events. In particularly with the United States election, social media network Twitter was lit up with an electric mood where everyone had the potential of sharing a meaningful opinion. To the point that Twitter was slowed down significantly at times during debates between US president Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Twitter users quickly critiqued the performances of each candidate. Allowing for such phrases like “binders full of women” to be instantaneously mocked. Through the entire US election, Digital Policy Council rates 31 million election-related Tweets were shared. Making history for being the most retweeted message on the social network included a photo of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle with the words “Four more years”.

Entering 2013, it's safe to say that government officials greatly recognize the need to communicate through the more conventional in-person way as well as by maintaining a voice on social media.

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