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AMARAL, Inês; ZAMORA, Rocío; GRANDIO, María del Mar  and  NOGUERA, José Manuel. Flows of communication and ‘influentials’ in Twitter: A comparative approach between Portugal and Spain during 2014 European Elections. OBS* [online]. 2016, vol.10, n.2, pp.11-128. ISSN 1646-5954.

The research about the concept of influence on Twitter is still underdeveloped. This work is a theoretical and empirical approach on how politicians are engaging with citizens and/or journalists, and how these social conversations are framed under specific topics and users. The idea of new influentials on political communication in the new media ecosystem, as some studies found (Dang-Xuan et al, 2013), can offer empirical pursuit of the suggested ‘two-step flow model’ as applied to the agenda-setting process (Weimann et al., 2007) in the case of the microblogging for campaigning online. Following the recent research about how politicians try to reach their potential audience (Vaccari and Valeriani, 2013; 2013a), this paper analyses the social conversations on Twitter driven by politicians, the main topics in these political conversations and the kind of flows of communication (direct or indirect) between politicians, journalists and citizens. This research explores the differences and similarities about influence on Twitter during European elections in two countries with similar political and economic contexts: Portugal and Spain.

Keywords : online influence; political communication; social interaction; European elections.

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