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The "Twitter Election" Changed Politics Forever

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It’s been a tough year to be a Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) investor, but the company recently posted somewhat encouraging third-quarter earnings, and it seems to have benefitted from this year’s chaotic presidential campaign that is now being dubbed the “Twitter Election.”

Perhaps more significant than how Twitter benefitted from the election are the consequences that the Twitter Election will have on future political campaigns; this year’s online activity absolutely cements the fact the politicians must have a compelling and polished social media presence in order to compete.

“Twitter Election” By The Numbers

Donald Trump’s official account boasts over 13 million followers, and the Republican candidate has consistently used the site as a rallying platform, oftentimes to a fault, as some reports suggested that his closest aides revoked his personal tweeting privileges in the week leading up to Election Day.

Hillary Clinton is no slouch herself, and with about 10.2 million followers, the Democratic candidate and first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. party has been able to connect with her supporters on Twitter as well.

In a blog post recapping the election, Twitter shared a variety of statistics that highlight just how much of this election took place on the social media site. In the United States alone, people sent 1 billion tweets about the election since the primary debates began last August.

Clinton claimed the most re-tweeted tweet of the entire election with this roast of Trump:

Trump’s equally-scathing response was his most re-tweeted tweet of the campaign:

Looking past the official accounts, this year’s election played out through a wide range of commentary, parody, and memes on Twitter. The influence of the site is undeniable.

Leaving a Legacy

The first time I realized that Twitter was the real political deal, if you will, was during the middle of the first presidential debate, when I noticed that I was refreshing my own newsfeed more than I was actually watching my television.

Live updates from journalists, commentators, supporters, and official campaign staff made Twitter a must-have companion to the debates for the politically-minded. As politicians become more and more Twitter-savvy, their Twitter presences will only continue to grow.

Twitter has officially staked its claim as a legitimate platform for delivering a political message. If you mess up and tweet a gaff, you can be sure that it will be on the news in no-time. Tweets can serve as free attack ads, rallying cries to supporters, or spontaneous debate stages.

2016 may go down as the first “Twitter Election,” but it’d be naïve to think it will be the only one. From here on out, all elections will be Twitter Elections.

Other companies have tried to get in on the election fun too, including Snapchat, Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) , and Facebook (FB - Free Report) . Read more here: These Tech Companies Want to Be Your Election Day Guide!

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