Joe Biden’s year on Facebook
New data on how Facebook users mentioned and interacted with Biden-related content in 2022
Over 1.2 million public Facebook feed posts in the United States mentioned President Biden in 2022 - earning over 522 million interactions. Were they mostly positive, negative, or neutral? How did those numbers compare to other prominent politicians? We’ll break that down and more in this week’s FWIW.
Help decide the future of FWIW
Before we dig in, I wanted to hear from you. Moving into next year, what type of content do you want to see in this newsletter? Take 20 seconds and answer this *very short* multiple-choice survey (it’s really just two required questions!) to help steer FWIW into the next election cycle + beyond.
By the numbers
FWIW, here were the top-spending political advertisers on Facebook + Instagram last week:
With the 2022 elections finally behind us, we’re entering a relatively quiet period for political ad spending until at least one major municipal election begins to heat up next month. Filling the big money void are a host of lobbying organizations competing for attention on Capitol Hill. They include Big Oil, Big Tech, and Big PhRMA, which are all using Facebook ads to bolster their reputations and pet projects during key government funding fights on Capitol Hill.
One notable and overt political advertiser launched new ads on the platform last week: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, whose PAC has spent several thousand dollars targeting users nationally to build his email list. Youngkin is rumored to be considering a White House bid in 2024. Another politician toying with a run for higher office is Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, who has spent $40,000 on Facebook and Google ads in recent weeks teasing a potential challenge to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024.
Meanwhile, here were the top-spending political advertisers on Google and YouTube last week:
The numbers in the above chart mostly reflect spending in the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff’s final few days. Since Google’s Transparency database only archives advertising that mentions a candidate or politician, I don’t expect heavy spending on its platforms in the next few weeks.
While Donald Trump’s leadership PAC, Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, has spent $6.2 million on Google advertising since November 2021, it has only spent around $30,000 since Trump’s lackluster campaign launch last month. The group is currently just running a handful of Search ads for fundraising purposes.
Political campaigns and organizations in the U.S. have spent over $10.5 million on Snapchat ads in 2022. Here are the top political advertisers on Snapchat so far this year:
From around the internet
The Washington Post has a fascinating look into how Kari Lake’s campaign to be the Trump of 2022 unraveled >>
Instagram rolled out some major changes to the platform, including 60-character “notes” and a clone of BeReal. Read all about it here >>
After announcing her independence from the Democratic Party last Friday, progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman took to TikTok to tell Kyrsten Sinema “Bye Felicia.” Sinema, on the other hand, has been spending a lot of time on Facebook Marketplace.
Former President Donald Trump made a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” yesterday that he is selling $99 digital trading cards. The proceeds don’t even benefit his presidential campaign, potentially confusing would-be small-dollar donors. Meanwhile, Joe Biden shared a major announcement of his own.
The DNC’s Mobilization Team wrote up a case study on how they used abortion rights messaging in an early voting ad campaign >>
One of the Fetterman campaign’s lead social media staffers spoke with Slate about how she approached online engagement in 2022. Read the Q&A >>
Joe Biden’s year on Facebook
According to Crowdtangle, over 1.2 million public Facebook feed posts in the United States mentioned President Biden in 2022 - earning over 522 million interactions. Were they mostly positive, negative, or neutral? How did those numbers compare to other prominent politicians? FWIW, it may surprise you:
Out of the 100 most-engaged posts on Facebook mentioning “Biden,” “Joe Biden,” and “President Biden,” 55 were conservative and anti-Biden, 16 were straight news or neutral, and 29 were pro-Biden or favorable. Here’s a breakdown of which accounts shared the top 20 posts:
For starters, the most-engaged post mentioning President Biden on Facebook this year didn’t come from the White House or FOX News - it came from NASA, receiving nearly 1 million interactions.
Among posts positive or favorable to Biden, these three received the most interactions:
Despite a steady decrease in engagement for right-wing outrage pages in 2022, President Biden’s haters still received significantly more engagement than his supporters on their posts. The top three negative or anti-Biden posts came from Ben Shapiro, Mike Rowe, and a page called Allegiance To Liberty, railing against COVID mandates, student debt cancellation, and high gas prices, respectively.
The good news for President Biden is that Facebook’s political influence could be on the decline as platforms like TikTok take over more Americans’ screens. As Biden readies a likely re-election bid for 2024, it will be very interesting to see how this kind of Facebook engagement shifts, or declines, over the next year.
The most-talked-about politicians on Facebook, 2022
How did mentions in public posts about Biden in the U.S. compare to other politicians? Here’s a quick breakdown:
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to FWIW to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.