The first debate of the 2012 Presidential race between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney sparked some 10.3 million tweets on the evening of October 3 and became the most tweeted event in US political history, according to a report by Twitter and Compete.
The following chart tracks #Debate tweet volume at 15-minutes intervals from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm EDT on October 3, 2012:
Below, other findings from Twitter and Compete.
In addition to Twitter's enormous reach, political tweets also appear to drive Web traffic to political donation sites.\
For its part of the study, Compete examined tweets issued from August 1 to September 21, 2012 related to the 2012 US Presidential race.
Overall, Twitter users were 68% more likely to visit a political donation site than other Internet users, Compete found.
Moreover, the likelihood to visit such sites increased when Twitter users were exposed to political tweets from political handles they follow, retweets by users they follow, Promoted Product campaigns by a political handle, or searches on political terms.
Twitter users exposed to any of those political tweets were 97% more likely than other Twitter users to visit a political donation website:
Moreover, multiple exposures impact traffic volume.
Users exposed to such tweets 3-7 times were 31% more likely than other Twitter users exposed to ads to visit a political donation site during the study period. When the number of exposures increased to eight or more, the rate of visits accelerated another 76% over those users exposed to tweets 3-7 times.
Those lifts were found to be similar across all candidates, groups, and political parties, according to Compete. In other words, Republican handles accelerated donation site visits to their candidates at virtually the same rate as Democratic handles did for theirs.
About the data: Compete used its US-based panel and analytical platform to examine how Twitter users were exposed to and reacted to political Tweets, August 1, 2012 to September 21, 2012.