Narendra Modi has the fastest growing Facebook page for any elected official in the world and is only second after US President Barack Obama in terms of fan following of politicians, an official of the social networking website said today. “Modi continues to have the fastest growing page (for the last day, week and month) of any politician or elected official worldwide,” Andy Stone from Facebook policy communications told PTI. On April 7, the first phase of the Indian general elections, Modi had 12.46 million fans on the Facebook. Today, when he was appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee as the next Prime Minister of the country, it had jumped to 15.245 million fans. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
After US President Barack Obama, who has over 40 million fan following on Facebook, Modi is the second most popular politician in the world. It is only during this election cycle, that he crossed Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate, who now has 11.345 million fan following. Modi, however, has greater growth rate on Facebook (1.171 percent) compared to Obama’s 0.305 percent. On the day of counting, mentions of Modi saw an increase of seven times. Also Read - WhatsApp Multi-device support confirmed, public beta rollout begins in two months: Mark Zuckerberg
The general election which concluded with the BJP getting a majority in the Parliament has seen a record growth in Facebook pages in India, Stone said. “Since elections were called on March 5th, Facebook users in India have been engaging with their friends, the candidates and political parties to discuss the 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” Stone said. From the day elections were announced to the day polling ended, 29 million people in India made 227 million interactions (posts, comments, shares, and likes) regarding the Indian Elections on Facebook. That is two-thirds of all daily active Facebook users in India and an average of 10 interactions per person. In addition, 13 million people made 75 million interactions regarding Modi, Stone said.
On each day of the polling, Facebook ran a megaphone to people in India letting them know it was Election Day and encouraging them to share that they voted. This megaphone was seen by over 31 million people, Stone said. Moreover, the candidates and political parties saw a large amount of interactions on their Facebook pages. “During the election, Modi became the second most-liked politician on Facebook behind only Obama and Arvind Kejriwal also joined the ranks of the top five liked politicians globally,” the Facebook official said.
In addition to Modi, who is ranked on the top among popular politicians in India, Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is ranked second with 5.434 million fans, followed by Kumar Vishwas (2.152 million fans) of AAP, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (2.089 million fans) and BJP president Rajnath Singh (1.594 million). During the election period, the popularity of BJP jumped significantly as its number of fans increased by over 833,000 from 4.531 million on April 7. The fan following of the Indian National Congress which had 3.309 million fans on April 7 increased by 577,819 and AAP’s increased by 221,664 from 2.119 million fan following on April 7, 2014.
Enriched by its experience in India’s general elections, the Facebook now plans to roll out the “I’m a Voter” megaphone this year. This includes European Parliament (May 22-25), Colombia (May 25), South Korea (June 4), Indonesia (July 9), Sweden (September 14), Scotland (September 18), New Zealand (September 20), Brazil (October 5) and the United States (November 4). “We estimate conservatively that nearly 400 million people around the world will see the megaphone this year. This includes India, where over 31 million people saw the megaphone during the Lok Sabha elections,” Stone said.