The perception that many other people are being reached and affected by political communication can be a reason for intensifying one’s own communication activities. An online survey among German citizens (n = 2,957) was carried out to determine whether this is also true for political communication activities via social media. Results show that the presumed reach and the presumed influence of Facebook and Twitter with regard to the individual’s circle of friends/acquaintances affect the intensity of online communication. However, perceptions concerning the population in general are not relevant. This indicates that individuals primarily address their own social environment with their political social networking practices. Thus, by concentrating on perceptual processes, the findings contribute to shedding light on the causes and motives for political communication activities in the social media world.
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