Twitter, the online social networking / microblogging service, was launched in July 2006. That's a pretty recent service! Even if it rapidly gained a worldwide popularity, it's a well-known service in France only since few months (and not for everybody!).
The last presidential elections in France were in April 2007, Twitter wasn't so well known. Let the statistics talk by themselves...
Since then, Twitter has grown considerably and now has over 456 million users. However, France is still lagging since it counts 5.2 million accounts and only 47% of them are active ones.
Let's go back to the presidential elections. As we have just seen it, those elections are the first french presidential elections since Twitter is a known and recognized service in France. This is obvious: now, each candidate has his own Twitter account. More egregious than all this, hashtags were introduced in a more or less official way: we may particularly note the two hashtags
#FH2012. They are respectively @NicolasSarkozy's and @fhollande's support.
Consequently, many purposes are now possible. Particularly statistics about the use of such hashtags, volume, traffic generated, type of authors, keywords associated... Or the correlation between those two hashtags (see illustration on the below).
Something is sure: those two hashtags will exist until the end of the campaign. The real question is rather to wonder whether this trend will be repeated for the next elections... in 2017! Wait and see.
The day after the debate between the two presidential candidates, I made two quick measures of the activity on Twitter during this confrontation (from 8pm to 1am). I realized those measures with a web tool that I had developed (based on the Twitter API): "Correlatweet" (See higher on this page). This tool gave an indication of the correlation between two hashtags / mentions. This measurement was done in three stages: measurement of the first term, of the second term, and finally of both in the same tweet. Here are the two sets of measures I focused on:
- the hashtags
- the mentions
Without any particular filter and without analysing if it was a positive or a negative tweet, the results are the following:
Note that, story tells us that
@fhollande won the elections with 51.63% of votes.