Observing Malaysian Social Media

Posts Tagged ‘social network analysis

The Most Followed Twitter Users in Malaysia (Oct 2017)

Since 2014 we have been building up a database of profiled Twitter users in Malaysia. We currently have over 630,000 profiled user accounts that are location-based. What this means is that we can analyse opinions and interests not just by state, but by area (e.g. cities, constituencies, campuses, malls, suburbs / taman). We have demonstrated the application of this database for opinion analysis (browse here) and by-elections (link). We are currently working on improving the level of detail for our profiles and are now sharing part of our research results with the public.

Using a sample of 24,677 users from our database, we collected their lists of Twitter ‘friends’ (user accounts that people follow). This resulted in a list of 2.07 million users. This list was then used to summarise the top 207,500 most-followed users by users in Malaysia.

The Top 10 most-followed Twitter users are below:

Rank @ScreenName Name Market Reach (%)
1 instagram Instagram 39.385
2 Khairykj Khairy Jamaluddin 35.665
3 9GAG 9GAG 32.577
4 Matluthfi90 Matluthfi90 27.459
5 yunamusic Yuna Zarai 25.064
6 501Awani Astro AWANI 23.982
7 NajibRazak Mohd Najib Tun Razak 23.625
8 waktuSolatKL Waktu Solat WP KL 22.653
9 SantapanMinda Santapan Minda 22.134
10 ustazharidrus Ust Azhar Idrus 21.818

Market reach is defined as the percentage of users in Malaysia who follow that Twitter user. Based on this list, Khairy Jamaluddin (MP for Rembau, Minister of Youth and Sports, UMNO Youth Leader) is both the most-followed person and most-followed Malaysian in the country. But his market reach is only 35.665% of users in Malaysia. This shows that no single user on Twitter ‘owns’ the Malaysian market. Because we are using profiled users, the possibility of fake followers (or phantoms, fake accounts etc.) is a non-issue.

The Top 10 users have a combined market reach of 82.25%. Most Twitter users in Malaysia have a market reach that would be considered small. But a small market reach does not mean that a tweet has no chance of going viral. Due to the high degree of connectivity between Twitter users plus the Twitter Search factor, there is always a chance for a tweet getting retweeted and spread throughout the network.

Using the data that we collected, we performed a network analysis on how the most-followed Twitter users are connected to each other based on their followers. For this analysis we used the top 4,704 users. This covers all user accounts followed by users in Malaysia with a minimum market reach of 0.61%.

Users that have a shared appeal (affinity) will have overlapping audiences, which is equal to strong connections if the overlap is high. For example, users that tweet primarily about football will draw interest from other people who like football.

Based on the network analysis we generated a map showing clusters of users with a strong affinity for each other. Based on where they are in the map, you can see the affinity that different popular users have with each other. Users with a greater market reach are shown in a larger font, coloured from a scale ranging from blue (least popular) to orange to red (most popular).


The full-size version can be viewed at our Flickr page here.

At a glance you can see that the top users are close to each other where @Khairykj and @instagram are visible. As stated earlier the Top 10 users have a combined market reach of 82.25%. Despite the fact that these users don’t tweet about the same topics, their proximity to each other is due to their mass market appeal.


Read the rest of this entry »


Partisanship of Politicians’ Followers by Affiliation

View the high-resolution image at (http://www.flickr.com/photos/politweet/7842715014/in/photostream/)

This network graph shows the connections between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) with their followers on Twitter. It visualises the size of the followers exclusive to each coalition, and the size of the overlap. This version is colour-saturated to show the partisanship a bit more clearly.

This graph is based on a snapshot of followers taken on August 2nd 2012. There are 1,036,932 total followers.

How to read this graph

  1. The red node represents PR. The blue node represents BN. The nodes are sized based on the number of followers.
  2. Each grey node represents 1 Twitter user. A node is connected to BN/PR if that user follows BN/PR.
  3. Connections to BN are blue, connections to PR are red. Overlapping (purple) connections indicate non-exclusive users.
  4. Connection strength is based on the number of politicians followed by the user.
  5. Nodes that are connected only to BN or PR are exclusive to that coalition.

Facts and Observations

  1. PR has 314,302 followers. BN has 876,138 followers. BN has 2.788 times more followers than PR.
  2. Active followers have used Twitter in the last 1-2 months.PR has 188,045 (59.83%) active followers. BN has 507,899 (57.97%) active followers.
  3. PR has 151,822 (48.3%) exclusive followers. BN has 719,341 (82.1%) exclusive followers.
  4. PR has a relatively small group of exclusive followers compared to BN. The PR-exclusive followers are the left-most semi-circular clusters (forming a red ‘fan’), representing 48% of all PR followers. The remainder of PR’s followers follow both BN and PR.
  5. The BN-exclusive group are concentrated in the top and bottom clusters. Its clear that either cluster is bigger than the PR-exclusive cluster.
  6. PR-exclusive followers start following both BN and PR at an average rate of 1935 users/month.
  7. BN-exclusive followers start following both BN and PR at an average rate of 929 users/month.
  8. PR-exclusive and BN-exclusive followers switch parties at very small rates, between 19-59 users/month.
  9. PR has grown from 269,473 followers in March 2012 to 314,302 followers in August 2012. That is a growth rate of 16.64%.
  10. BN has grown from 624,227 followers in March 2012 to 876,138 followers in August 2012. That is a growth rate of 40.63%.


PR has a slow follower growth rate and a higher migration rate of exclusive followers to non-exclusive status. This indicates that PR followers are more open to receiving messages from BN.

BN has a high follower growth rate and a lower migration rate of exclusive followers to non-exclusive status. This indicates that BN followers are less open to receiving messages from PR.

Barisan Nasional is doing quite well for itself. One area that could use improvement is the number of active followers.

Pakatan Rakyat faces a number of challenges. First is to ensure their followers don’t move towards being BN-exclusive. Second challenge is to get more BN followers to move away from being BN-exclusive to being non-exclusive; or PR-exclusive. This will help expose users to PR policies and ideologies. If they can repeat the PR message to BN-exclusive users, that will help improve the migration rate and encourage even more users to follow.

Both coalitions need to acquire more active followers who will help spread their message through retweets.

Breakdown of BN followers:

Total: 876,138
Suspended: 21,091
Observer (0 tweets, 0 followers): 123,825
Inactive (no change in last 2 months): 223,323
Active: 507,899

Breakdown of PR followers:

Total: 314,302
Suspended: 8,055
Observer (0 tweets, 0 followers): 25,398
Inactive (no change in last 2 months): 92,804
Active: 188,045

Observer accounts are potential dummies. However many people do use Twitter as a news reader, so you can expect a significant number of Observer users to be real people. Many users also leave their accounts idle until there is a live event happening.

Update 23/8/2012 (in response to comments on fake accounts)
The issue of a dummy account needs to be raised together with a definition of what is considered a dummy. BN’s high follower count has being attributed to fake accounts, bot accounts and inactive accounts by civil servants and UMNO members forced to sign up on Twitter. These are the types of accounts that would eventually be detected and fall under the Observer and Inactive categories stated above.

Many of BN’s followers can be attributed to the Prime Minister (@NajibRazak). Without Najib, BN’s follower stats are quite different.

Breakdown of BN followers (not including @NajibRazak):

Total: 374,563
Suspended: 11,400
Observer (0 tweets, 0 followers): 49,167
Inactive (no change in last 2 months): 60,243
Active: 253,753

446,146 (56.87%) of Najib’s 784,477 followers are active. Najib gets retweeted often by a large number of users, so the influence of the account during the next GE cannot be discounted. A detailed analysis of Najib’s followers is definitely something worth exploring in future.

Dummy accounts make it look like the social media companies in charge are hitting their target, so they can earn their commission. But creating 100+K dummy accounts does not seem practical. You need an email for each, then signup on Twitter, then click the verification email, login and follow Najib – it is a lot of work.

Written by politweet

August 23, 2012 at 4:22 am

A Network Analysis of Users Mentioning Malaysian Politicians on Twitter, April 2010 – November 2011

This visualisation displays the distribution of users who mention BN and PR politicians, based on the number of mentions they made.

1.Users are represented by grey nodes.
2.There is a blue node on the left, representing BN politicians
3.There is a red node on the right, representing PR politicians
4.Users are pulled to either node based on the number of mentions they made for that coalition
5.The blue-shaded area denotes users who are exclusive to BN and do not mention PR politicians
6.The red-shaded area denotes users who are exclusive to PR and do not mention BN politicians

There are a total of 72,214 users that made 1,002,027 tweets mentioning politicians. Read the full report below:

Written by politweet

December 15, 2011 at 3:38 am