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2 weeks ahead of Kenya polls Twitter grants custom hashflags #ElectionsKE and #ElectionsKE2017

by Milicent Atieno

On August 8th, 2017, Kenyan will be up in queues in their millions to vote for the next cohort of political leaders to steer the 12th Parliament through to the next elections in 2022. However, as far as social media is concerned, this election will be like no other elections held in Kenya.

The 2017 elections will see the all-time high number of social media users in the country. The last (2013) elections had a considerable number of social media users, but the numbers were far from what we have today.

Twitter especially has registered a lot of new users in Kenya over the last four years; in 2013 Facebook had the numbers leaving other social networks with a big range. Although Facebook users are much more active in Kenya, Twitter has cut a niche for itself over the last couple of years.

Twitter users come to the platform to get breaking news and better follow of certain topics being discussed under specific hashtag(s). Unlike Facebook where people can type a whole book of text, Twitter makes conversation short and precise under 140 characters limitation. For that reason, it is the best platform to get numerous views from so many people in the shortest time possible.

Twitter has for the first time released a unique hashflag for the Kenya 2017 elections; we’ve seen them previously release for popular countries like the United States and European countries. Kenyan on this August 8th election can also use a unique hashflag by Twitter to follow the news on the platform. The hashflags are #electionske and #electionske2017.

About Hashflags

Well, a hashflag is your typical hashtag but Twitter adds a unique icon related to that hashtag. Take, for instance, these two hashflags #electionske and #electionske2017. Immediately after the hashtag, you find an icon of a ticked ballot paper being inserted into a box bearing the colors of Kenya’s national flag.

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