Digital trends among the European Parliament

MEPs continue to make use of a wide range of channels to communicate with constituents. The most notable developments since 2009 have been the rise of social networks (mainly Facebook) and the decline in blogging. This is likely due to a number of reasons: the time-intensive nature of blogging is worthwhile in an election year, but less so now; platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide immediately accessible audiences while blogs have to be marketed.

While MEPs’ use of Twitter is rising, it is doing so at a slower pace than amongst corporate or NGO users. With Twitter, there is a ‘fear factor’ of a negative reaction which quickly becomes widespread. What is notable is that MEPs struggle to see the value of Twitter. This could be explained by their use of it as a broadcast mechanism rather than an opportunity to listen and engage, which is arguably not an appropriate use of the channel (see question 4).

Key findings and comparisons with FH’s previous study:

  • 69% use social networks whereas previously only 33% used social networks extensively.
  • 65% distribute newsletters.
  • 29% write a personal blog, compared to 40% in 2009.
  • 34% are on Twitter, up from 21%.

Direct link to epdigitaltrends and the whole study here

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