On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Steven Rattner presented charts showing how Trump’s accelerating Twitter activity has become less novel to his followers.
If it feels like President Trump’s Twitter finger has been itchier than usual of late, that’s because it has been. Having dispatched more than 42,000 tweets, Mr. Trump has been a prolific user of the social media site for the past decade, but never so much as in recent months.
In his first six months in office, Mr. Trump averaged nearly six tweets a day, a lot of activity for a guy just assuming the most important job in the world. But that rate has escalated sharply since then. In the most recent half year, he averaged nearly 13 tweets and retweets a day. And in May, he has hit new highs – 642 tweets and retweets so far this month, for an average of more than 20 each day.
But as his daily tweet count has climbed, the impact of each tweet has fallen. At the time of his election in 2016, a Trump tweet was interacted with (meaning a retweet or a like) about 0.55% of the time. As the frequency of Mr. Trump’s tweets increased and the novelty of them declined, so did the response rate – down to 0.16% most recently. (Note that the total number of interactions with each of Mr. Trump’s tweets has increased but because his user count has risen dramatically – to 60.6 million at present – the rate of responses to Mr. Trump’s tweets has still fallen.)
Part of the recent escalation in Mr. Trump’s Twitter activity is due to the release of the Mueller report. In just the roughly two months since Attorney General William Barr’s release of his summary of the report, Mr. Trump used the words “no collusion” in a tweet 61 times, approximately once a day. By comparison, in the entirely previous year, he used the term only 56 times. His embrace of “no obstruction” has been even more dramatic: 34 times (every other day) since March 24, compared to just 11 times in the previous year.
But the Russia “hoax” has not been Mr. Trump’s top overall topic; that honor goes to “fake news.” Fun fact: The top tweet of Mr. Trump’s presidency was the pro wrestling video of him taking down a man with a CNN logo for a head. (930,531 interactions.)