As the United States heads toward another presidential election in 2020, social media plays an even bigger role than in previous elections as information is published, shared, tweeted — and "likes" may matter.
Does a person's social media following signal how well he or she may do as we get closer to deciding who will appear on the ballot?
There are several candidates with big followings: Namely Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But other candidates are on their heels.
Let's take a look at the current number of followers the candidates have, as of Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Note that some have personal verified pages and secondary pages for the candidacy. These numbers reflect their personal, verified pages.
In order from highest to lowest Instagram followers:
Instagram: 12.4 million
Twitter: 59.1 million
Facebook: 23.8 million
Instagram: 3.1 million
Twitter: 8.24 million
Facebook: 7.5 million
Instagram: 1.6 million
Facebook: 1 million
Instagram : 1.3 million
Twitter: 4.9 million
Facebook: 3.18 million
Twitter: 4.21 million
Facebook : 1.2 million
Twitter: 2.6 million
Twitter: 1.38 million
Instagram : 30,700
Twitter : 190,000
Facebook : 103,000
Click here to see a photo gallery of the current 2020 presidential candidates.
For the 2016 presidential election, social media was a major deal for candidates: A quarter of American adults reported that they went to social media for news and election information on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The candidates used that to their advantages and attempted to grow their fan bases on the various platforms.
Candidates pushed people to register to vote, and Facebook offered links for people to follow in order to find their polling information.
On election day, it was very popular to announce "I voted" on social media. Celebrities especially shared messages encouraging folks to vote and showing that they had voted. Singer Taylor Swift, for example, received more than 2 million "likes" on Instagram of a photo showing her in line to vote.
Facebook reports 115 million people posted about the 2016 election, and that generated more than 700 million likes, posts, comments and shares, Authority Lab reports.