Back in January we reported that more than half of UK MPs are now on Twitter; that was according to Tweetminster, a media platform that analyses trends and links around the micro-blogging platform. It found that 331 of the 650 MPs have Twitter accounts set up in their name, up from 234 MPs who used the microblogging platform in January 2011.
Twitter can be whatever you want it to be – but as a tool that helps political information flow, it’s proving quite a powerful medium. Just ask those involved in the Arab Spring.
As such, Tweetminster has announced that it’s extending its reach beyond the UK and launching a new global elections platform to let users follow political news and elections in over 100 countries around the world – it pulls on data from politicians, governments, and political journalists, and puts it all on one platform.
The BBC World Service, through Electionista’s API, developed a visualisation module with live updates from Twitter. The module highlighted the latest live tweets from a pre-approved group, trends (keywords used by that group), most shared URLs within the group and most active users.
Moving forward, the BBC will have access to Tweetminster’s API bringing relevant tweets, links and trends to its election coverage in various countries. For the record, there will be elections in 59 countries around the world in 2012, and 26 of these may see a change in national leadership.
Electionista follows Tweets from politicians, governments, parties and politics media, looking at the most shared links and all the trends shaping a country’s political debate. It happens in real-time and covers every country in the world that has a political presence on Twitter – it even shows you countries with upcoming elections:
Electionista lets users search for tweets and the most shared links within a country, and it enables users to follow accounts, and reply, retweet and favourite Tweets. It also has a calendar of upcoming elections around the world.
Electionista will be bringing together about 15,000 Twitter accounts from over 100 countries when it launches today, and it has been developed as a Web app, meaning it’s optimised for desktops, tablets and smartphones.
“We’re particularly excited about the fact that by doing this we’ll be experimenting with the BBC around various areas, including using Tweets live, dynamically aggregating external links, and identifying and displaying trends in different languages,” says Alberto Nardelli, co-founder of Tweetminster. “We are already working to integrate country trends into the app, which is already available in the API, and translations, to make all content from every country available in any language.”
Launched in 2008, Tweetminster was initially focused on UK politics, but it now works with companies around different topics, across most industries and markets. Scaling this up into the global arena is its next challenge, and one it hopes to solve with Electionista and will see it get back to its political roots.