Comparing Twitter and Instagram as platforms for party leader communication
Findings from the 2017 Norwegian election
Keywords:Political Communication, Social Media, Twitter, Instagram, Norway
While social media have become key in contemporary political campaigns, different platforms feature differing affordances, allowing for varying functionalities. Even more importantly, different platforms are populated by different user groups. As Twitter has received large amounts of scholarly attention, comparisons of how and why different social media platforms are used for political communication are less abundant. This study looks at the differences between Twitter and Instagram as platforms for top politicians, describing and explaining how they allow for interaction with different types of audiences. The study gauges the interaction patterns emerging from activity undertaken by Norwegian party leaders on Twitter and Instagram during the 2017 Norwegian elections and shows how use of these two platforms differ not only in terms of the volume and structure of the activities — but also with regard to what types of other users the party leaders choose to interact with on the studied platforms and why we see differences between them.
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