The usage of WhatsApp, bought over by Facebook in 2014, has also followed the same trend. The only other social media platform that currently matches the popularity of Facebook and WhatsApp in India is YouTube.

Vijayawada: The use of social media among voters in India has grown by leaps and bounds with several social media platforms witnessing tremendous growth between the 2014 and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Back in 2014, merely one of every ten voters (9 per cent) was found by Lokniti’s election-time survey to be using Facebook. This figure of usage has increased steadily since, doubling to 20 per cent by 2017, and then increasing further to 32 per cent during the recent 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The usage of WhatsApp, bought over by Facebook in 2014, has also followed the same trend. The messaging app, that also allows for free audio-video calling, was used by only 22 percent of the voters in 2017 and has now increased to 34 percent. The only other social media platform that currently matches the popularity of Facebook and WhatsApp in India is YouTube. Nearly one-third (31 per cent) of the respondents in Lokniti’s survey were found to be using the video-sharing site/application.

Instagram, a relatively new platform, is also quite popular. Acquired by Facebook in 2012, the photo and video sharing social networking service is at present being used by 15 per cent or about one-seventh of the country’s electorate. Of all the social media platforms, Twitter continues to be the least popular social media platform in terms of usage.

The social networking and micro-blogging service that was launched in 2006, was found to be used by two per cent of voters in 2014, and is currently being used by 12 per cent or one in every eight voters. While this growth from two per cent to 12 per cent does point to a six-fold increase in the last five years, it is nowhere close to the usage figures of WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube, or for that matter even Instagram, which came on the social media scene much after Twitter.

What’s more, in May 2018, when Lokniti had conducted a national survey in 19 major states of the country, the overall usage of Twitter among voters was found to be slightly higher than what it is today at 14 per cent, indicating that the growth of the platform may have actually stagnated in the country. To be absolutely sure about this decline in Twitter’s usage figures, Lokniti looked at the responses received from only those 19 states where the May 2018 survey had been conducted.

Lokniti found no difference whatsoever. That is to say, that Twitter usage in these 19 states was also found to be 12 per cent, the same as what the survey found in Lokniti’s analysis of 26 states.

Courtesy DECCAN CHRONICLE.