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Why Politicians Tweet

Two economists from the University of Toronto have taken a closer look at who uses Twitter in the U.S. Congress. While generating followers is an obvious motivation for politicians to tweet, Feng Chi and Nathan Yang found that geography and party lines play a part too. Yang writes of their new paper:

Politicians do not react differently to past successes of past adopters within and outside their home state, nor do they react differently to past successes of past adopters inside and outside their party affiliation. Note however that politicians benefit more from adopting soon after past successes within their home state, rather than past successes outside their home state. This suggests some sort of “information advantage” with respect to geography.

If you love political twitter, check out Tweet Congress, a website that organizes and archives politicians’ tweets. Of course, no politician comes close to beating our President at this game: with 6 million followers, he’s way ahead of the herd. [%comments]