News of the snap general election breaking on Twitter sent levels of political conversation soaring. No surprise. Politics is a topic that interests more than 80% of people on Twitter, and when big news like this is about to break they want to hear directly from politicians and the political experts who are on Twitter.
While a high number of people overall on Twitter in the UK are interested in politics, the number is even higher at 84% when it comes to millennials, according to research conducted for Twitter by Nielsen (1).
Perhaps what’s most interesting about the people interested in politics on Twitter, is that 68% say they their political views have been influenced by something they have read or seen in their Timeline. That is something we consistently see on the platform. Earlier research that found some 18-34-year-old people on Twitter had changed their vote after reading something on Twitter.
It is not only millennials who have changed their minds by something they have seen on Twitter. Another study (2) found that 1 in 5 have reconsidered their view on a particular issue or joined in a political or social cause after reading a conversation on Twitter.
Corbyn versus May
There is still more than a month to go until #GE2017, and mentions of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Conservative leader Theresa May are running high. In the first two weeks of the campaign, however, there have been three times more mentions of May than Corbyn.
Likewise, mentions of the two main parties are very active. While Labour was the most discussed party in week one, the Conservatives were the most mentioned in week two.
Making politics more accessible
Twitter is about what’s happening in the world right now and you can immediately start to explore the biggest stories of the day. In our study, of all the social platforms, 71% of those surveyed and interested in politics said that Twitter makes it more accessible and easier to understand.
One of the things that makes Twitter what it is are the MPs, journalists and other influential figures are all there taking part in the conversation. The findings of the study reflect this. It found that of those surveyed people on Twitter interested in politics, 74% said that it is a place that allows people to feel more involved in political matters. Significantly, 64% believe that Twitter provides unbiased political coverage.
Of course, Twitter is not just about the big breaking news stories and high levels of debate, it is about the fun as well. It is a side that many people on Twitter love - with 62% of those surveyed and interested in politics saying that Twitter shows the more humorous side of politics more than any other platform.
1. Nielsen Passions Deep Dive, 2016
2. Research Now EU Referendum Survey MAY 2016
Both studies conducted on behalf of Twitter