Two hashtags of ABS-CBN News topped trending topics from the start of 2019 to election day on May 13, Twitter said a day after the polls. This cements ABS-CBN News' dominant coverage of the 2019 midterm polls online and on broadcast.
Hashtags #Halalan2019 and #Harapan2019 were the first and ninth most tweeted about hashtags during the election season, based on Twitter's internal data from January 1 to May 13. #Halalan2019 was ABS-CBN's election hashtag while #Harapan2019 was used during the four senatorial candidates' debates ABS-CBN News mounted in the runup to elections.
"The political discussion varied from difference stances, senatorial debates to other relevant matters around the elections," Twitter said.
It added that the ranking did not reflect sentiments towards election candidates.
New data and storytelling
ABS-CBN News' leading news coverage also broke new digital ground as it explored new ways of storytelling using digital tools on election day.
It used the Intelligence feature of the Facebook-owned CrowdTangle, a tool originally designed to help news publishers see what’s happening on social media by tracking public data.
CrowdTangle said the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) is one of the first media outlets to use the Intelligence feature on a live program; others who previously did were CrowdTangle partners during Mexican and Italian elections.
ANC and other ABS-CBN News platforms shared the tools' findings via social media reports broadcasted from the News Digital Center of its Halalan 2019 War Room.
A sample use case was ABS-CBN News' tracking of the social media accounts of candidates running for the Senate, party-list organizations, and local hopefuls.
CrowdTangle took tab of these accounts' interactions - likes, comments, shares - as well as share of voice or level of interactivity vis-a-vis other accounts. The result was a glimpse into how active #Halalan2019 candidates were in social media, what issues they tackled, and clues on whether their social media activity also reflected their standing in their races.
Journalists who reported about these social media findings were careful to explain that CrowdTangle did not measure or distinguish between negative or positive sentiments of the posts, and that strong social media performance by candidates' accounts did not necessarily translate to real life votes.
ANC's Migs Bustos explained during his social media report from the News Digital Center how Senate bets used social media heavily during the campaign period, and how Instagram may be quickly emerging as a new favorite platform.
Lexi Schultze, on the other hand, compared the social media performance of the three candidates in the hotly contested Manila mayoral race via CrowdTangle. In another report, Schultze looked at Senate candidates' social media interactions during elections week.
Top coverage online
Online, millions took to ABS-CBN's "Halalan 2019: Ipanalo ang Boses ng Pilipino" election coverage.
On YouTube, ABS-CBN News' streamed broadcasts of ABS-CBN Channel 2, ANC, and DZMMTeleRadyo amassed 2.3 million views from May 13 to May 14.
These are still apart from the 3 million views of the live streamed election coverage on the Facebook accounts of ABS-CBN Channel 2, ANC, and DZMMTeleRadyo.
ABS-CBN News had earlier reported that its website news.abs-cbn.com had 46.7 million page views from May 13 to May 14 -- 434% more than the average daily views.