20 Sep 2018: Tweeting in Hindi gaining popularity in India, shows study
Tweeting in Hindi is gaining popularity in India, according to a study conducted by researchers, including an Indian, in the US.
The social media landscape in India has evolved since 2014 when a majority of the tweets on Twitter were from the English-speaking urban population, says the study conducted by Joyojeet Pal and Liz Bozarth from the University of Michigan.
Hindi love: 11 of 15 most-retweeted messages of politicians were in Hindi
Hindi language tweets are more likely to be shared and favorited in India when compared to English, said the study.
A key indicator of this shift is that 11 of the 15 most retweeted messages by Indian politicians in the last year have been in Hindi.
The study states that the Bharatiya Janata Party leads significantly in terms of social media following.
BJP: BJP leads significantly in terms of social media following: Study
"While the ruling BJP still leads significantly in terms of social media following because of a top-down push from the center, other parties are also recognizing the role of the social media in political outreach," said Pal, an assistant professor at U-M's School of Information and lead author of the study.
They found that Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads significantly in the online following.
Hindi tweets: Hindi tweets perform better for BJP, Congress, regional parties
Meanwhile, the median recount of the Congress President Rahul Gandhi's tweets have consistently outscored median retweets of other Indian politicians from January to April 2018, the university said.
According to the research, Hindi language tweets perform better for the BJP, Congress, as well as regional parties post 2016.
Non-Hindi regional language tweets do not perform as good as either Hindi or English.
Research: For study, researchers aggregated 274 political accounts
Researchers aggregated 274 political accounts based on two key attributes, politicians' status as party leaders and significant online following, typically with 50,000 followers or more.
While the language use on social media doesn't map onto the language preference of a politician's electoral constituents, the research says that it serves as an indicator of who the politician is speaking to online.
Interesting fact: Most retweeted messages in Hindi have sarcasm, insults: Researcher
"Language can also be an indicator of the kind of emotion being expressed. Some of the most retweeted messages in Hindi have sarcasm or insults," Pal said.
"We are moving closer to an era in which politicians can actively switch to communicating with their constituents directly through social media, bypassing the traditional news media altogether," the researcher added.