A study conducted by researcher, Joyopreet Pal and Liz Bozarth at University of Michigan shows that tweeting in Hindi is gaining popularity in India since 2014, when majority of tweets were in English from majority of urban population.
Study shows that 11 of the 15 most tweeted messages by Indian Politicians during last year were in Hindi language. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leads significantly in terms of social media following.
Pal is an assistant professor and Liz Bozarth is doctoral student at University of Michigan. They did this research on 274 politician and political Twitter accounts having the fan following more than 50,000.
Pal said, “While the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party 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”.
He said, “Language can also be an indicator of the kind of emotion being expressed. Some of the most retweeted messages in Hindi have sarcasm or insult. This aligns with previous research that stronger emotions are more likely to be in local language than in English”.
He added, “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”.
Their research study found that Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads in online following, but Rahul Gandhi’s Tweets outscored retweets of other politicians from January to April 2018. Pal said, “A reason for this can be that his tweets have taken on an aggressive style of confrontation that has the popularity of his messages”.