Third Presidential Debate: 53.2 Million Interactions Across Facebook, Twitter

Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton discussing treatment of women provided the most-tweeted-about moment during the third and final presidential debate Wednesday night.

Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton discussing treatment of women provided the most-tweeted-about moment during the third and final presidential debate Wednesday night.

Nielsen reported that there were 53.2 million interactions—defined as “original social media posts related to a linear TV episode and the engagement with that original content”—on Facebook and Twitter during the event, from 16.9 million people.

Twitter said 59 percent of conversation during the debate was about Trump and 41 percent about Clinton, and the three most-tweeted moments were:

  1. Trump and Clinton discuss treatment of women.
  2. Trump refuses to say if he will accept the election results.
  3. Clinton calls Trump Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet during a conversation about Russia and nuclear weapons.


According to Nielsen, activity on Facebook and Twitter peaked between 10:15 p.m. and 10:29 p.m. ET, when the candidates discussed their fitness to serve as president, whether they would accept the outcome of the election and foreign hotspots.

Social media optimization platform SocialFlow shared the charts below, featuring the most-tweeted-about terms during the debate, minute-by-minute and overall, respectively:

SocialFlowTwitterMentionsByMinute SocialFlowTwitterMentionsDebatePostDebate

The five most-tweeted policies during Wednesday night’s event were:

  1. Foreign affairs
  2. Economy
  3. Reproductive rights
  4. Terrorism
  5. Immigration

Clinton picked up 13,000 Twitter followers during the debate, while Trump added 6,000.

And the most retweeted tweet during the final meeting between Trump and Clinton was Trump poking fun at the mention of Putin:

Nielsen said the debate yielded 41.5 million interactions on Facebook, adding that 62 percent of users who interacted were female and 40 percent were under the age of 35.

Readers: Did you interact on Twitter or Facebook during the final presidential debate Wednesday night? David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.