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A person's popularity on social media may become more important than one's popularity among friends and colleagues.Reuters

A new study revealed that at least 160 constituencies would have social media voters for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The study conducted by IRIS Knowledge Foundation and Internet and Mobile Association of India said, "There are 160 high impact constituencies out of the total of 543 constituencies, which are likely be influenced by social media during the next general elections."

India has about 62 million social media users and the numbers are continually increasing.

The study categorises high impact constituencies as those where "Facebook users account for over 10 per cent of total voters in a constituency."

Maharashtra has the maximum high impact constituencies (21) followed closely by Gujarat (17).

Uttar Pradesh comes third with 14 high impact constituencies followed by Karnataka (12), Tamil Nadu (12), Andhra Pradesh (11) and Kerala (10).

Madhya Pradesh scores low with nine and the nation capital has seven such constituencies.

While Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan settle with five high impact constituencies, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir settle with four high impact constituencies, the lowest.

However, the study pointed out, "It is not the number of likes and tweets that are going to determine the probability of winning of a certain candidate but the ability of a candidate to engage with the electorate, by rising above the media clutter, and by trying to get his or her message across to the voter directly."

The study based its findings on the changing scenario over the years with greater online activities in debates, discussion and initialisation of protests digitally.

The report also stated that a total of 67 constituencies fall within the medium impact constituencies, meaning those where "a Facebook user can influence one other voter who may not be on Facebook."

There are 60 low impact constituencies and the rest 256 are tagged under "no impact constituencies."

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