Social media sceptics probably rolled their eyes when Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull rejected a final, televised election debate in favour of appearing on Facebook, however the attention garnered by the pioneer event is worth noting.
On Friday, news.com.au in conjunction with Facebook, livestreamed Australia’s first social media federal election debate.
The Facebook post for the debate between Mr Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had a reach of more than 1.5 million on Friday night, increasing to a total reach of 3.1 million by the end of the weekend.
The livestream video itself attracted 160,000 views on the night of the debate – a figure that ballooned to more than 800,000 by the end of the weekend.
It is worth noting that a minimum of three seconds viewing constitutes a ‘view’ for videos on Facebook, a rate of measurement that has raised concern among media and advertising professionals.
Even so, the debate’s impact can be seen in the engagement generated by audiences from across Australia: there were more than 235,000 interactions with the debate post.
Additionally, more than 3000 questions were submitted by the public to be asked of the leaders and more than 37,000 comments posted on the livestream video itself, many of them also questions.
Five questions were selected and put to the party leaders during the debate.
Social media posts promoting the debate ahead of the event were seen by more than 4.6 million Australians.
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