Pacquiao's Facebook page remains biggest among all pres'l bets

Sherwin Tinampay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2022 06:32 PM | Updated as of May 03 2022 09:26 PM

Editor’s note: Fourth in a series by ABS-CBN News on the presence on Facebook of Halalan 2022 presidential candidates. 

MANILA - Retired boxing superstar Sen. Manny Pacquiao's page is the most followed and has the biggest number of interactions (likes, comments and shares) among all Halalan 2022 presidential candidate on the popular social networking site Facebook from 2016 to 2021.

Based on the 2021 data generated by ABS-CBN News from content discovery and social monitoring platform CrowdTangle, Pacquiao’s Facebook account topped the list with 18.61 million in terms of the number of followers.

He is followed by Manila Mayor Francisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso with 5.40 million followers, former Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. with 4.36 million followers, Vice President Leni Robredo with 1.79 million followers, Sen. Ping Lacson with 412.8K followers and labor leader Leody De Guzman with 20,700 followers.

The Facebook pages of presidential aspirants former Defense secretary Norberto Gonzales, former presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella, doctor and lawyer Jose Montemayor Jr. and businessman Faisal Mangondato all have below-10,000 followers.

CrowdTangle
2021 Facebook page growth of Halalan 2022 presidential candidates based on page followers. Source: CrowdTangle

Pacquiao’s Facebook account had the most significant page growth last year with a total of 2.97 million new followers followed by Marcos Jr., Domagoso, Robredo, Lacson, De Guzman, Gonzales, Montemayor Jr., Abella and Mangondato.

Before Facebook launched the 'follow' button to identify a user’s support to a page, Pacquiao’s account had the biggest number of 'page likes' in 2016, the year he ran as senator.

Pacquiao's account had 11.70 million followers against the accounts of then vice presidential aspirants Marcos Jr. and Robredo, which had more than a million page followers.

CrowdTangle
2016 Facebook page growth of Halalan 2022 presidential candidates based on page likes. Source: CrowdTangle

Notably, then senatorial aspirant Domagoso’s Facebook page likes were only more than 500,000. Lacson, who also ran as senator in Halalan 2016, had 150,000 plus page likes.

Abella, De Guzman, Gonzales, Mangondato and Montemayor did not have Facebook pages in 2016.

Despite Pacquiao's huge following on Facebook, it looked like the then senatorial aspirant did not utilize the social networking site for his senatorial bid. Majority of his posts then were family- and boxing-related.

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Pacquiao’s 775 Facebook posts (photos, links, statuses, Facebook videos, Facebook live and shared YouTube videos) for that year registered a total of 40.16 million total interactions.

CrowdTangle
2016-2021 Facebook page total interactions (based on likes, comments and shares) of Halalan 2022 presidential candidates. Source: CrowdTangle
CrowdTangle
2016 Facebook post count of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

Across Facebook, conversations about Pacquiao in 2016 reached 31,012,494 total interactions - reactions, comments, and shares.

He received the greatest number of interactions (2.56 million total interactions) on April 10, 2016, his last fight before the May 2016 elections where he won against Timothy Bradley.

CrowdTangle
2016 conversation about Sen. Manny Pacquiao across Facebook. Source: CrowdTangle

Pacquiao’s numbers on his Faceboook page went down in 2018 when he got 3.15 million total interactions. He was overtaken by Marcos Jr.’s account with 3.76 million total interactions. Pacquiao's account bounced back in 2019 and continued to gain more all the way to 2021 as it got interactions by the millions.

Overtaken by Domagoso in 2019

Interactions on the senator's page was overtaken in 2019 by Domagoso who has been active on Facebook when he successfully ran as Manila City mayor.

As of last year, Domagoso has a total of 45.72 million total interactions followed by Pacquiao's 42.96 million, Marcos' 37.32 million, Robredo’s 20.9 million, Lacson's 2.39 million and De Guzman's 174,600. Abella and Montemayor's pages' numbers are below 15,000 in total interactions while Mangondato only has 217.

CrowdTangle
2016 Facebook total interactions (likes, comments and shares) of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

Meanwhile, Marcos Jr.'s account appeared to have the most engaged content on Facebook in the same year. The late dictator’s son registered over a million in engagement on his video entry celebrating the birthday of his mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos.

The video titled 'BBM VLOG 166: Backstories with Imelda' published on July 3, 2021 generated 2,808,605 likes, 132,618 comments, 666,048 shares and 31.32 million views against Pacquiao's new year video with his family having 1,369,962 likes, 74,482 comments, 35,734 shares and 10.07 million views.

 

 

Despite Facebook interaction changes in 2021, the start of the election season, the retired boxing champ's top Facebook posts consistently generated anywhere between 200,000 to over 2 million total interactions since 2016.

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2016 top Facebook post of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

2017 top Facebook post of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

2018 top Facebook post of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

2019 top Facebook post of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

2020 top Facebook post of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

2021 top Facebook post of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's account. Source: CrowdTangle

Pacquiao sharer on Facebook

After Pacquiao announced his candidacy for the presidency in October, he and his family figured in the posts of a news website that actively released stories and were shared by multiple Facebook pages at the same time, ABS-CBN News' research showed.

ABS-CBN News used the algorithm formulated by Dr. William Yu of the Ateneo de Manila University in identifying public Facebook interactions with 'coordinated behavior.' In Yu’s algorithm, at least 5 Facebook pages sharing the same post within 1 minute would be tagged as exhibiting coordinated behavior.

News188media.com's news and features on Pacquiao have been aggressively shared by multiple Facebook accounts from October to December.

These article on Pacquiao started to be shared simultaneously among certain Facebook pages in October, and among them were stories of Pacquiao's rift with his former aide Jake Joson.

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October 19, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former aide Jake Joson published on news188media.com

October 21, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former aide Jake Joson published on news188media.com

Write-ups on Pacquiao with Robredo and Domagoso, his love story with wife Jinkee, his distribution of money, the Pacquiaos' Forbes Park home, Jinkee on being like Imelda Marcos as first lady and her Rolex watch were generously shared by multiple accounts in November.

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November 6, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Vice President Leni Robredo published on news188media.com

November 6, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso published on news188media.com

November 16, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee published on news188media.com

November 18, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao published on news188media.com

November 22, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao published on news188media.com

November 23, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee published on news188media.com

November 23, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee published on news188media.com

In December, only two accounts were seen to have aggressively shared Pacquiao-related stories from news188media.com.

ABS-CBN News has tried but failed to get in touch with news188media.com for comment. Their site does not contain contact details or any way to reach them.

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August 2, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao's wife Jinkee published on news188media.com

December 9, 2021 article about Sen. Manny Pacquiao's children published on news188media.com

Yet, despite his mammoth engagement and followers on Facebook, Pacquiao has been lagging behind in surveys since he declared his candidacy last October 2021, consistently receiving single-digit numbers.

In the Pulse Asia survey held from March 17 to 21, he was at number 4 with only 6 percent, two points down from his 8 percent in February.

But Pacquiao clinched the third spot at 7 percent in the Pulse Asia's April 16 to 21 survey, overtaking Domagoso, who is now at fourth place with 4 percent.

Pacquiao said he "sees 'magic' in his survey rise, and sees no less than 10 million votes on May 9.