The Oval

Is Social Media Trump’s New News Media?

Last week, President Trump took aim at social media platforms at the White House’s Social Media Summit. Our analysis found Trump’s criticism of Twitter and Facebook resonates well with his followers.

The White House’s Social Media Summit last week made it clear that President Trump has a new target: social media platforms.

Trump’s top hashtag last week was #SocialMediaSummit (used eight times), while “social media” tied with “the border” for the president’s top bigram, or two-word combination (used 10 times) last week.

We analyzed Trump’s last 3,200 tweets (going back to Nov. 26, 2018) to see how he discussed the various social media platforms, and how those tweets resonated with his base.

Trump mentioned Twitter the most, with 17 tweets about the platform. The vast majority of those tweets were negative, with the exception of a retweet discussing how “united on Twitter” conservatives are, and an April tweet about a “great meeting” with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at the White House.

Seven out of Trump’s eight tweets about Facebook were critical of the social media platform, while Trump’s lone mention of LinkedIn was a retweet mentioning a job offer through the platform.

The president’s tweets about Twitter and Facebook in particular are well received by his followers. Those tweets received an average of 27,949 and 25,688 retweets respectively. Both were more than Trump’s average engagement of 19,369 retweets per tweet.