What Facebook can tell us about Obama and Romney’s supporters

what facebook can tell us about obama and romneys supporters compassWith all the partisan complaining and fighting coming out of this year’s US Presidential Election, you might think that there’s nothing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on, but there is: The shopping experience known as Target. There’s also The Hangover, football and soccer.

These similarities are some of the facts coming from a comparison of Obama and Romney fans on Facebook that’s been released by social media ad platform Compass Labs. Using its data-mining powers for good (Well, informative purposes) instead of evil (That is to say, marketing purposes), Compass has revealed that while Obama may have more Facebook fans, Romney’s smaller number is more passionate and more in tune with what their guy is saying.

Obama has 28,365,075 fans to Romney’s 6,446,941 fans on Facebook – or, at least, those numbers were the case when Compass surveyed the information – but Romney has the edge on both the amount of online chatter about candidates (3,340,348 people talking about him, against Obama’s 3,051,585) and level of fan engagement in terms of those “liking” statuses or messages – 52 percent for Romney versus a paltry 11 percent for Obama.

(Interestingly enough, there are more Republican Facebook fans than Democrat fans by a considerably margin: 706,872 against 515,690, and the level of engagement is equally swapped, with Democrats being more engaged with a 46 percent ration versus the Republicans’ 34 percent. Republicans still have an edge in terms of discussion, however; 241,451 people commenting against the Democrats’ 234,787 people.)

In terms of demographic breakdown, the majority of Romney’s supporters – 43 percent – are older than 55 years of age (Only 11 percent are younger than 25), while Obama’s appeal is spread more evenly across age groups: 24 percent over 55, then 21 percent aged 25-25, 20 percent aged 18 to 25, 17 percent aged 45-55 and 18 percent 35-45 years of age. Obama’s gender demographic is the mirror image of Romney’s, with a 53 percent female, 47 percent male ratio while his opponent has 53 percent male and 47 percent female.

Where Compass’ data breakdown is most fun, however, is seeing the lists of activities, favorite movies, TV shows and brands. For example, while both Republicans and Democrats like football and soccer, Republicans would rather play golf, quilt or go to church than Democrats, who’ll apparently be spending their time power walking, camping or meditating. Everyone agrees that they like The Hangover, but Democrats would rather watch Paranormal Activity while Republicans prefer The Sound of Music (No, really: The Sound of Music actually shows up as the third most popular movie for Republicans. Who knew?).

The television show breakdown seems amazingly obvious: Republicans prefer The O’Reilly Factor and The Sean Hannity Show, while Democrats go for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (Both sides enjoy Family Guy, however). When it comes to brands, Target shows up on both lists, but Romney fans would prefer to eat at McDonalds and drink something from Starbucks, while Obama’s followers would spend their time talking on something from Samsung Mobile USA or using their Visa cards.

It’d be nice to imagine that such lists will humanize the all-too-often demonized other sides in what’s all too often a ridiculous and desensitized race, but that may be too much to hope for in today’s climate. Instead, I’ll just cling to the idea that even the worst partisan bickering can apparently be defused by a DVD showing Stewie Griffin playing soccer purchased from Target. Just imagine…

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

The N64 was an all-star console with a line-up of all-star games. These were the best.

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in August, from ‘Dark Tourist’ to 'Disenchantment'

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Features

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Photography

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Photography

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Social Media

Instagram hackers are changing account info into Russian email addresses

Have you logged in to your Instagram lately? A hack circulating this month has Instagram users locked out of their accounts because a hacker changed all the profile data, according to a report.
Social Media

New deal suggests Facebook is looking to add sweet interactive tools for Live

Facebook now owns a company that specializes in creating interactive live video experiences with polls, viewer comments, and more. Vidpresso says the change will help it bring the interactive tools to more users.
Social Media

How to use Adobe Spark Post to spice up your social media images

Images are proven to get more likes than plain text -- but only if those images are good. Adobe Spark post is an AI-powered design program for non-designers. Here's how to use it to take your social media feeds to the next level.
Photography

18 seconds of fame: Giphy’s quirky new GIF film festival has a $10K prize

Have a knack for creating GIFs? Someone is going to win $10,000 for a video that's 18 seconds or less at the Giphy Film Festival. The new contest is set to recognize the top creator for the short micro-films in five different categories.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts.