Small Is the New Big – At Least on Twitter: A Diachronic Study of Twitter Use during Two Regional Norwegian Elections
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Launched in 2006, Twitter is now entering its second decade of existence. As such, the service can no longer be considered as ‘novel’, and researchers might find it suitable to adopt longitudinal or diachronic approaches to study its many applications. This study adopts the latter of the two mentioned research design principles in order to provide over-time insights into the field of online political communication. Guided by the equalization and normalization hypotheses, an analysis of the 2011 and 2015 Norwegian regional elections on Twitter is presented, focusing on how comparably larger or smaller political actors made use of the service at hand. Thus, the paper makes a contribution not only by means of its diachronic arrangement, but also since it goes beyond the often studied national level of politics. Results suggest that while larger actors were more visible on Twitter in 2015 than in 2011, their comparably smaller competitors prevail – at least in terms of getting attention on the service under scrutiny.
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