Keywords: big data, micro-targeting, participation, attention, strategic amplification, data access.
The advent of pervasive and connected digital technologies has profoundly affected both the way in which politicians interact with citizens and supporters and the way in which scholars study political communication. In the context of this ongoing transformation, this paper focuses on the role played by «big data» analytics. The large availability of digital footprints left by citizens in their everyday use of digital technologies have created possibilities for new forms of collaboration, advertisement, and propaganda. While political actors embrace these new strategies, media scholars studying political communication must adjust their methodologies in order to make sense of this mutated environment. This paper describes and discusses these three vectors of transformation in light of the new opportunities and challenges posed to scholars in the field of political communication.