Facebook and CNN team up to follow the Election 2012 conversation
With the conventions well underway, and the respective party’s tickets officially confirmed, media brands are building up their social insights, and trying to follow the online conversation about the US election.
CNN and Facebook are collaborating for a new project called Facebook Insights. The project will monitor the real-time data on the conversations about President Obama, Vice President Biden, Respublican candidate Mitt Romney, and his Vice Presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, on Facebook. As well as the two mega brands, the project also involves real time social curation company Mass Relevance.
Far from being an impenetrable and dull collection of numbers, the site is very intuitive to use, and strangely addictive. The graphics let people see the amount of conversations happening by gender, state, and age, and try various demographic combinations.
It is fascinating to test out various combinations, and see which settings reveal the most conversations around a certain candidate. For example, on the broadest settings, it is the Vice Presidential candidates who are currently attracting the most attention. Conversations about Vice President Biden are up 134%, and conversations about his opponent Paul Ryan up 60%. A more focussed search though shows more conversations about the President himself.
Across the board the candidates are being discussed more and more as the conventions get underway.
There are also maps and other in depth graphs showing where people are discussing the respective candidates.
The stats only include to Facebook, which could slightly misleading, giving the huge amount of political discourse that takes place on Twitter. Nonetheless, watching the link between news stories and online conversations is very interesting. It is likely that there is so much conversation about Paul Ryan, for example, as he is the newcomer to the campaign and people are analysing him and sharing initial impressions. Equally, the fact that people are interested in the VP candidates shows mainstream media that they should perhaps cover them more. No doubt as Election Day gets nearer, the conversation will turn much more to the Obama vs Romney battle, and conversations about Romney are likely to shoot up tonight when he addresses his party’s convention.
Announcing the new project, CNN Digital Senior Vice President said KC Estenson said:
“We are excited to build on our long relationship with Facebook to spin social media conversation into real-time data.”
“By teaming up with Facebook and Mass Relevance, we can accurately gauge the buzz surrounding this election and deliver it to CNN Digital users, literally as it is happening.”