Yesterday we took a close look at Social Networking Sites And Our Lives, the latest research from Pew Internet, with articles about the educational level and usage frequency of members of the major social networks.
Let me ask you a question: what is the most political social network? It’s Twitter, right? I mean, with the way that platform has interjected itself into the mainstream press and public consciousness around the world, becoming a de facto instrument in political revolution, with citizens from all corners of the planet making themselves heard, it simply has to be, right?
The users of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn were asked about their level of political participation, and the results are fascinating.
Pew sampled 2,255 American adults on their use of social networking services between October 20 and November 28, 2010. There were 975 total users of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn.
As you can see, at 79% users of LinkedIn are far more likely to have voted (or intended to vote, which is a bit of an either/or, but so be it), in contrast with 65% on Facebook and 62% on Twitter.
LinkedIn members have also tried to influence the vote of somebody else more than the other networks, with 36% ticking that box.
As you might expect, Twitter users are most likely to have attended a meeting or rally, but only slightly – that 15% total just edges out LinkedIn’s 14%.
This data is interesting because I would have assumed (like many others I expect) that Twitter, with the key role it has played in a plethora of major global events over the past couple of years, would lean heavily towards political participation. And maybe the results would be vastly different with a global sample and/or isolated, country-by-country surveys.
But perhaps this is yet another example where a very small percentage of highly influential (and in this case, highly political) Twitter users can dominate a lot of the conversation, giving the appearance that something is more significant than it is, simply because they make the most noise. And in the meantime the majority of the network, drowned out as they are by the gusto of the big-hitting minority, range from less enthusiastic to entirely indifferent.
(Source: Pew Internet.)