CivicScience | Twitter and the Trump Effect

Politics, Technology

Twitter and the Trump Effect

Whatever your opinion of President Trump, it appears that his political tenure has had a fascinating effect on Twitter – and the numbers prove it.

Conservatives are about three times more likely to be daily Twitter users today than they were in the year immediately preceding the 2016 election.

While daily Twitter use increased among all three political tribes over that time (resulting in an appreciable bump in daily Twitter use overall, from 13% to 16% of U.S. adults), conservative Twitter seems to have exploded in a way that moderates and liberals couldn’t match since Trump’s election. 

Put another way: the right used to make up a little more than a quarter of daily Twitter users. Now, they account for about one-third, and may even slightly outnumber liberals.

We’ll leave the political science up to you. Suffice to say that Trump’s election (along with his subsequent tweeting, presumably) has had a massive effect on the political makeup of Twitter.

Other changes in the average daily Twitter user since 2016:

  • They’re more educated (60% now have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 48% in 2015-16)
  • They’re higher-income (50% now earn more than $75K per year, compared to 40% then)
  • They’re more suburban (49% now compared with 42% then)
  • They’re more likely to be on Instagram daily, too (55% now compared with 42% then)

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