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Sorry, Twitter: Facebook 'Liked' Presidential Debate #2
By: Greg Dorn
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Twitter and Facebook were both around during the last Presidential debate in 2008. That was exactly four years ago, an eternity in the tech world. Therefore, it would be arbitrary to compare the social media numbers of these two juggernauts between 2008 and 2012. However, what is interesting to note is the drastic change in how social media was used between this year’s first and second debates.
 
When Governor Romney and President Obama first took the podium, Twitter dominated as the world of politics and social media naturally collided. While the first debate set a political record with 10.3 million tweets, the number dwindled to 7.3 million by the time Tuesday’s second go came around. Despite the reduction of tweets, according to the analytical website Tracx, social engagement across all networks came in at 31% during the second debate, as opposed to 20% for the first. If the tweeters stopped talking, where did the activity go?
 
The answer is of course Facebook, where roughly 40% of the online conversation took place. Although Twitter boasted a similar percentage for the second clash of the candidates, the first debate cited 77% - 6%, Twitter - Facebook. What could possibly account for such a drastic change?
 
The first debate was simply a warm up, an opportunity for both candidates to clear their throats and feel each other out. After the dust had settled and Obama was criticized for appearing too “soft”, it was clear that the gloves would come off come round two. It appeared people were more engaged in conversation and debate the second time around. Such activities are far more suited for a platform such as Facebook. While Twitter messages are often a one-way street, Facebook posting and commenting allows for more discussion and conversation. It appears the public simply had more to say.
 
The next best thing in stirring up the social media pot is the emergence of the unanimous catchphrase of the night. While we first saw Big Bird flood the Internet with parodies and memes galore, “Binders Full of Women” exploded across the web, even inspiring a Facebook page that obtained 260,000 “Likes” overnight. This is yet another tidbit of info of why Facebook left its social-network counterparts in the dust during the second Presidential debate.
 
Needless to say, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or any other online forum, politics have found a permanent and ideal stage in the usage of social media.


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About the Author
Greg Dorn is a blogger, writer, and obsessed with everything technology and social media. Greg is absolutely captivated with the recent advancements in mobile gadgets, making our world more seamlessly connected. You can learn more about him on his own blog here
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