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Facebook Census of Political Interest in Malaysia, August 2015

1. Introduction

This document provides a measurement of the political interests of Facebook users in Malaysia and a brief analysis of recent trends. This is based on public information collected from Facebook. Characteristics and interests were chosen based on what would be most relevant to political analysts.

Statistics cover users aged 21 years and older unless otherwise specified.

Some important notes to remember when interpreting figures:

  1. Total population refers to Facebook users aged 13 years and above.
  2. Potential voters refer to Facebook users aged 21 years and above.
  3. Youth refers to Facebook users aged 13 – 20 years.
  4. Gender breakdown figures do not add up to the total. This may be due to Facebook users not sharing their gender, and also due to rounding errors by Facebook when dealing with specific age groups.
  5. Figures provided by Facebook are estimates. Some inaccuracies are to be expected.
  6. Facebook users residing in Malaysia are not necessarily Malaysian citizens.
  7. Interest in a topic is equal to the number of users expressing interest in a topic.
    1. To measure interest we used a combination of Facebook Topics (a collection of interests, activities, groups, pages, status updates and job history identified by a common term determined by Facebook e.g. ‘United Malays National Organization’) and specific Group and Page names (e.g. Friends of BN).
    2. These are used to collect the number of users interested in a given party/coalition/politician/group. For example, a user mentioning a party name in a status update; sharing a news link related to the party or sharing content from a party-affiliated page would count towards the total interest in that party
    3. Interest in a political party does not indicate support for the party, only awareness
  8. Audience refers to the population of users that express interest in a topic.
  9. Based on our research to date, Pages that are of type ‘politician’ are not always included under related Facebook Topics. For example, not all ‘Tony Pua’ (MP, PJ Utara, DAP) Page likes are included under interest in ‘DAP’. However because Facebook does not make Topic details available we cannot easily determine which politicians, if any, were included.
  10. Statistics on the Opposition primarily refer to component parties of the former Pakatan Rakyat – PKR, PAS and DAP. Interest in PSM is included in total statistics for the Opposition, but is not listed separately due to its small audience.

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Written by politweet

October 8, 2015 at 4:39 am

Posted in Census, Statistics

Tagged with , , , , ,

Facebook Census Update (Jan 2013): Pakatan Rakyat versus Barisan Nasional

In our December 2012 Census of Facebook Users in Malaysia, we included a comparison of likes for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN) for users aged above 21 years old. This did not explicitly include any politicians’ Pages.

We found that:

  • PR has more likes than BN in every age group.
  • PR has more male and female likes than BN in every age group. However the gap is narrow for female likes, which means BN can overtake PR in likes from potential women voters.
  • BN likes have grown at a faster rate than PR in November, narrowing the gap between both coalitions.
  • In November- BN’s highest growth was in men aged 21-30 years, while PR’s highest growth was in women aged 21-30 years

On January 1st 2013, we ran another census for PR and BN. We found that:

  • PR has more likes than BN in every age group.
  • PR has more male and female likes than BN in every age group.
  • BN likes grew at a faster rate in December compared to November, for both men and women.
  • BN gained more likes than PR in every age category for both men and women.
  • PR likes grew at a faster rate in December compared to November, but only for men. For women, PR’s growth rate reduced from 14.98% to 3.29%.
  • For women aged 21-30 years, PR growth was 14560 likes in November. In December, PR growth was only 1520 likes. This reduced growth rate applies to all age categories of women.
  • In December – BN’s highest growth was in men aged 21-30 years, while PR’s highest growth was in men aged 21-30 years
  • The gap for female likes has reduced further, with BN only 2160 likes away from overtaking PR for women aged 21-30 years.
  • PR’s fan-base has become more male-dominant, with the male/female ratio shifting from 209:100 to 217:100.
  • BN’s fan-base has become less male-dominant, with the male/female ratio shifting from 154:100 to 152:100.

Questions to think about:

  1. What did PR do in November to gain such a high increase in likes from women?
  2. What did PR do in December to increase its growth rate in likes from men, but greatly reduce its growth rate in likes from women?
  3. What did BN do in December to increase its growth rate in likes from both men and women?

Statistics

Barisan Nasional

Total likes: 428,540

Male/female ratio: 152:100

Pakatan Rakyat

Total likes: 606,820

Male/female ratio: 217:100

Graphs

PRvsBN_TotalFBLikesByAgeJan2013

PRvsBN_TotalFBLikesByAgeGenderJan2013

PRvsBN_GrowthFBLikesByAgeGenderDec2012

PRvsBN_GrowthFBLikesByAgeGenderNov2012

Methodology

Facebook’s advertising tools were used to collect data on the number of likes for each topic. The results are an estimate by Facebook based on the search criteria we used. We found the margin of error to be +/- 0.1%, though this can vary based on the topic.

Written by politweet

January 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Census of Facebook Users in Malaysia, Dec 2012

View this document on Scribd

The following is the executive summary, included in the Scribd document above.

Executive Summary

This document describes the population of Facebook users in Malaysia based on public information collected from Facebook.  The goal is to provide a point of reference for social media marketing and a report on Malaysian interest in politics.

Personal characteristics and interests in topics such as Pakatan Rakyat (PR), Barisan Nasional(BN), coalition leaders, Bersih, 1Malaysia and both mainstream media (MSM) and online alternative media publications were measured by age group and gender.

Users interested in a topic are considered the fan-base for that topic. Research focused on potential voters (users aged 21 years and above).

Findings

Malaysia has a total population of 13.5 million Facebook users. The population is male-dominant – 53% are male and 47% are female.

Out of the total population, 9 million are potential voters – 54% are male and 46% are female.

Results of the analysis show that men are more interested in politics than women, but the overall population has little interest in politics. Only 8.8% of total potential voters expressed interest in PR and BN parties.

The research drew attention to a possible relationship between the male-female ratios of each topic’s fan-base:

  • Female bias was present in the fan-base for Malay-language MSM, Chinese-language MSM.
  • Female bias was strongest in the fan-base for 1Malaysia.
  • Male bias was present in the fan-base for English-language MSM and Barisan Nasional parties.
  • Male bias was strongest in the fan-base for Pakatan Rakyat parties, Bersih and online alternative media.

For female-dominated topics, there is 1Malaysia and Malay-language MSM. The 1Malaysia brand is associated with BN and Malay-language MSM tends to give more coverage to BN parties.

For male-dominated topics, there is PR, Bersih and online alternative media. Bersih is a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGO) seeking electoral reform. Bersih is strongly supported by PR. Online alternative media tends to give more coverage to PR parties compared to mainstream media.

PR’s fan-base is 1.5 times larger than BN’s fan-base. However the gap between BN and PR is small when it comes to women and PR’s fan-base is more male dominant compared to BN. This means that BN can overtake PR when it comes to potential women voters.

Conclusion

Population growth in November showed that both BN and PR’s fan-base were becoming less male-dominant. However BN started with a more favourable position in terms of gender balance.

Both 1Malaysia and Malay-language MSM have a female-dominant fan-base, which is a good market for BN to draw users from.

PR does not have a female-dominant source to draw from. Bersih and online alternative media are too male-dominant. The main source left to draw from are women who currently do not show an interest in politics, which is a challenge faced by both coalitions.

This places BN in a better position than PR to increase its share of interest from potential women voters.

Written by politweet

January 16, 2013 at 12:54 am