Social media plays “modest” role in US election…so far

Research out by Pew shows that when it comes to the major US hard news story of 2012, the Presidential election, voters prefer tried and tested news sources.

Only one in twenty (6%) Americans hears about the campaign from Facebook, and while 20% get election news from online news apps or websites, 36% get it from cable TV.Similarly, 41% of Twitter users ‘regularly’ or ‘sometimes’ get election news on Twitter, compared to 40% who never do.

Two observations about this study:

Pew headlines it by saying “Twitter, Facebook play very modest roles.”

I would add the words “so far.”   Pew’s research also shows that younger age groups who are most likely to get news from social media, have so far been turned off by the campaign

Secondly, we’ve yet to have the set piece events of the election, the live Presidential debates.   The recent US Superbowl showed how social media and live TV now goes hand in hand with 10,000 tweets a second being sent in the closing minutes.

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