Social media has a prominent influence in how we relay information and gather news. With the protests in Turkey and Egypt, we decided to use our social data to compare when and how users in these countries were socially engaged, and how they relayed information to each other.
In Turkey, the protests began on May 28th, which is Day 1 in the chart below. The shares during these first few days were steady, and made their first jump on June 1st (Day 5), when the unrest began to spread to other cities outside of Istanbul. Shares peak on June 4th, the day the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister apologizes to those injured in the clashes. There is a significant dropoff on June 7th (Day 11), the day an immediate end to all demonstrations was called.
In Egypt, social mentions are steady, even through June 30th (Day 3), which is the day eight people were killed in demonstrations encouraging Morsi to step down. The first significant jump is on July 3rd (Day 6), when Morsi is ousted as the Egyptian president. The greatest amount of social sharing occurred on the day thirty people were killed in clashes, July 5th. There is a gradual falloff after this day with a slight peak on July 8th (Day 11), the day of the Republican Guard massacre.
Taking it a step further, we found that social sharing was most concentrated around 7:20pm BST on July 5th, when Al Jazeera was broadcasting live video from central Cairo as people clashed near Tahir Square.
Looking at these two charts, we see the difference in the events that cause an increase or decrease in social sharing in each of these countries. In Turkey, the fluctuation in shares correlates with public announcements, such as apologies from the Deputy Prime Minister, and calls to cease demonstrations. In Egypt, the sharing correlates with violent events, such as the “Day of Rejection” on July 5th and the Republic Guard massacre on July 8th.
Now we know when users in these countries were likely to share, but what social tools were they using to share? In Turkey, 65% of sharing occurred on Facebook, and 20% on Twitter. In Egypt, 87% of sharing occurred on Facebook, and only 7% on Twitter. In both countries, Facebook and Twitter were the main place to share, and strongly outweighed other sharing methods like email and print. Due to the nature of events and users needing to quickly get information to others, it is no surprise that these sharing methods were the most popular.
The chart below shows Egypt’s mobile sharing during the same time period. Here we see that mobile sharing follows the same trend as overall sharing during the events.
Current events can have a significant and lasting influence on social media usage, including where and how users share information. Social sharing in Egypt is still at a high level. Will it stay at this level or fall back to pre-protest levels as we saw with Turkey?