Will it be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Irrespective of who becomes the next US president, the 2016 US presidential election has generated a lot of interest globally, Facebook data shows.
The social media company, which started tracking conversations and interactions related to the 2016 US Presidential Election from 23 March 2015 — the date when Republican Ted Cruz became the first candidate to announce his candidacy — recently revealed that the 2016 presidential race was the most talked about topic in 2015 on Facebook.
That's not all. Between 23 March 2015 to 1 November 2016, two hundred and eighty-nine million people around the world were involved in the conversation. Together, they generated over 10 billion posts, shares and likes on the social networking platform.
Most of the engagement was obviously from the United States itself as data shows that 127 million people contributed to 8,785 million interactions. A post, share, or reaction is considered as an interaction.
In Canada, 8.4 million people participated in 162 million interactions, which goes to show that Canadians had a lot to say about the elections.
From India, 9.3 million people participated, which is more than the number of people who participated in the conversation from Canada. However, these 9.3 million people generated a relatively tame 40 million interactions.
Facebook has also released a list of the top ten moments in the campaign. These were events which generated the most interactions on the platform. The biggest moments till 1 September related to the 2016 US presidential election are:
1. The second presidential debate on 9 October.
2. The release of the Access Hollywood tape.
3. The first presidential debate on 26 September.
4. The third presidential debate on 19 October.
5. The Democratic Convention.
6. FBI Director Comey reopens the investigation into Clinton emails.
7. The Republican Convention.
8. The vice presidential debate on 4 October.
9. Trump criticises the Khan family after the Democratic Convention.
10. Super Tuesday on 1 March.
The top moments' list shows consistent involvement over a year in the election. The debates and conventions triggered discussions around issues and information on Facebook. Facebook users even engaged directly with the politicians vying for candidacy.
Facebook revealed the posts related to the 2016 US presidential election that generated the most reactions. For the Republican candidate Donald Trump, the top Facebook content was a live video meant as a fundraising effort. The post had 77,000 shares with over 1.2 million comments.
For the Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, the post that generated the most reactions on Facebook was an image macro that simply showed Clinton smiling with the words “I’m with her” floating over her head. That post had 189,000 shares with more than 38 thousand comments.
Other important conversations from 2015 included the 13 November Paris Attacks, the Syrian Civil War and associated Refugee Crisis, the Nepal Earthquake, and the Greek Debt Crisis.