There’s no doubt that social media is becoming the primary source of news for the majority of Americans. This proved to be a fact during President Obama’s sixth State of the Union address, which took place Jan. 20. By encouraging their users to engage in conversations with other users, Facebook and Twitter exploded with highlights of the address and also gave them an opportunity to voice their own opinions on the event.
These social media outlets have seen the most numbers it has ever seen in any State of the Union. According to Twitter, “Over 2.6 million Tweets including those with the hashtag, #SOTU, from the start of the address, and on through the GOP’s response.”
Facebook reported, “On the day of President Obama’s State of the Union address, 5.7 million people on Facebook made 13.8 million exchanges with one another. These exchanges included, posts, shares, comments and likes that were all related to the address.” The demographic of people with the highest amount of participation on social media during the address were men and women between the ages of 35 and 49.
During his address, Obama made several memorable remarks regarding his presidency. The most prominent being when he called for political unity and stated, “I have no more campaigns to run.” Obama then interrupted the applauding audience and continued his statement by saying, “I know because I won both of them.” Mere seconds after the president uttered those words, social media erupted by posting and tweeting the replay of the comment. The original video was uploaded to YouTube by ABC News and had close to 28,000 views within 24 hours. There have also been a multitude of parodies of the quote that have been uploaded online.
Due to the increase in social media reactions from other political events, social media users are being exposed to more opportunities to having their voices heard on political matters. The government has picked up on this notion and using it to their advantage. Americans should expect to see more political business endeavors streamed via social media as well as other technological devices.