For years now, Twitter has been an important platform for disseminating news and sharing opinions about U.S. politics, and 22% of U.S. adults say they use the platform. But the Twitter conversation about national politics among U.S. adult users is driven by a small number of prolific political tweeters. These users make up just 6% of all U.S. adults with public accounts on the site, but they account for 73% of tweets from American adults that mention national politics.
Most U.S. adults on Twitter largely avoid the topic: The median user never tweeted about national politics, while 69% only tweeted about it once or not at all. Across all tweets from U.S. adults, just 13% focused on national politics, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis based on public tweets that were posted between June 2018 and June 2019.
The Center defined political tweeters – 31% of all U.S. adult users with public accounts – as those who had tweeted at least five times, and at least twice about national politics, over the study period. But within this broader group, there is a subset of highly prolific political tweeters who created 10 or more tweets between June 10, 2018, and June 9, 2019, with at least 25% of them mentioning national politics.
Prolific political tweeters have several distinct characteristics when compared with other U.S. adults on the platform: