USA Today announced today it has been collaborating with Facebook all month to gauge chatter about the upcoming Presidential election. This past week, Donald Trump shattered his previous records, generating more than 307m likes, comments, shares and posts about him based on the 2016 USA Today/Facebook candidate barometer. The prior week, Trump had 253m Facebook interactions, and the week before that, he had 220m , according to weekly data provided by Facebook.
By comparison, Hillary Clinton also hit her all-time high last week with 206m interactions on Facebook. It was the first time she broke 200m interactions.
The interactions about Trump were generated by 38.3m unique Facebook users last week while Clinton's interactions were generated by 29.5m users — meaning that the average Trump commenter is posting/linking/sharing/commenting about him eight times a week, while the average Hillary commenter is interacting just over seven times, the article states.
Since January, no other candidate but Trump has ever registered more than seven interactions per user per week, indicating an extraordinarily high level of intensity in the conversation about him, the article notes.
The volume of chatter about Trump and Clinton on Facebook also reflects the challenges third-party candidates face trying to break into the conversation. Libertarian Gary Johnson peaked with 12.6m interactions the last week of September. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has never generated more than 5.9 million interactions, and that was in July.
USA Today advises that this data measures only volume of conversation, not sentiment, so there is no way to know how many of these comments are negative.