Twitter is the go-to site for political candidates sharing fresh content
Social media has long been thought of as the domain for the young, rich and famous, but now it seems the popular site Twitter is having an image makeover.
Political leaders and would be candidates from around the globe are jumping on board the 140-character bandwagon.
The Associated Press reports that this year's race to the White House is taking place on the web as candidates amp up their online presence.
An e-content analysis conducted by the AP used data available on the social network's website to determine who was tweeting and how many often people "re-tweeted" or reposted their updates.
And while relatively few political commentators or pundits believe that any election will be won or lost on Twitter, it does provide an insight into the new communication paradigm.
Andrew Rasiej, the founder of Personal Democracy Media, said: "Candidates are living in a new media ecology that rewards speed, and there is no faster way to distribute your message intact than over Twitter."
In a reference to just how competitive these campaigns can be Mr Rasiej made a timely analogy about the role of Twitter in modern politics.
He asserted: "If TV ads were the rifles of campaign battles in the past, Twitter is the machine gun used to distribute a message or annihilate an opponent."
Broad and fast exposure is one reason why politicians and potential candidates may be turning to social media, but there are also a number of other factors.
Twitter is free – an important consideration for anyone hoping to get elected and running low on financial contributions.
It also reaches a broad audience without having to rely on the main stream broadcasters, which means that candidates can speak directly to the mum and dad voters they are trying to reach.
The AP has released figures showing that Newt Gingrich, the former house speaker, who is known to be running low on funds as the most avid twitter user.
Posted by Aimee McBride