To assess the use and impact of the social media platform Twitter during the 2020 ASCRS Virtual Meeting.
Social media platform Twitter.com.
Retrospective analysis of Twitter use during the ASCRS Virtual Meeting in May 2020. All tweets and associated metadata pertaining to the conference were compiled starting from when the virtual meeting was announced (April 8, 2020) to 2 weeks postconference (May 31, 2020). Two coders independently coded all tweets and excluded tweets if they were irrelevant or no longer available.
A total of 501 tweets were reviewed, of which 48.5% of tweets came from private accounts, 23.1% from academic institutions, 14.4% from ASCRS accounts, 12.4% from industry, and 1.6% from professional organizations; 146 tweets (29.1%) were shared before, 303 tweets (60.5%) during, and 52 tweets (10.4%) after the conference. A total of 315 tweets (62.9%) promoted conference events, 137 tweets (27.3%)) were about research studies, 136 tweets (27.1%) were social posts, 115 tweets (23.0%) were from industry sponsors, 22 tweets (4.4%) were self-promotion, and 5 tweets (1.0%5) were not categorized. Twitter impressions on the ASCRS account increased by 79% in 2020 compared with the 2019 annual meeting.
To the author's knowledge, this is the first study to describe how Twitter users engaged with a virtual ophthalmology meeting through social media during the coronavirus pandemic. Findings from this study offer insight into how the ophthalmology community can use social media during conferences and highlight opportunities for networking through social media for both virtual and in-person conferences in the future.