US President Barack Obama's State of the Union gets most young love in the West

 US President Barack Obama (centre) waves after delivering his final State of the Union address in the US Capitol, as US Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Speaker of the House Republican Paul Ryan (right) look on.
US President Barack Obama (centre) waves after delivering his final State of the Union address in the US Capitol, as US Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Speaker of the House Republican Paul Ryan (right) look on.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON, DC (REUTERS) - Millennnials in the West of the United States showed the strongest support for President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address, according to data provided by Yik Yak, a location-based mobile app that is popular with young people.

An analysis of Yik Yak posts that specifically discussed Tuesday's speech, showed that 47 per cent of millennials - defined as those aged between 23-35 - approved of Obama's address, while 23 per cent disapproved and 30 percent were neutral.

In the West, however, those numbers jumped, with 68 per cent showing their love for his address. The highest level of disapproval was in the Midwest, with 28 per cent. That same region showed 40 per cent of millennials approving of the speech.

Many young posters were already expressing nostalgia for the president, who will leave office next January after November's presidential election.

A recurring theme among those posting was the wish for another term for the Democrat, and recognition that Obama had been president for as long as they could remember.

"I'm going to miss Obama when he's no longer president. I know a lot of you disagree with him, but we grew up with him and it'll be weird when he's gone" wrote an anonymous Yik Yak user from the University of Virginia.

Yik Yak said five per cent of all its posts during the address were about the speech.

Elsewhere on social media, the conversation focused largely on key campaign issues for the presidential election.

The top-tweeted moment under the #SOTU hashtag was Obama saying, "I stand here as confident as I have ever been that the State of our Union is strong," according to Twitter data.

Among the issues most tweeted about during the address were foreign affairs, energy and the environment and the economy, in that order.

On Facebook, the top issues discussed during the State of the Union address were Iran, Islam, Muslims and ISIS, according to a spokesperson for the social media site, using a common acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group.

According to Facebook, users in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, New York and North Carolina were the most engaged on the social media site during the speech.

Facebook saw a spike in engagement, said the spokesperson, when Obama criticised anti-Muslim sentiment. In what appeared to be a slap at Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, Obama said insulting Muslims hurt the United States and"betrayed" its identity.

Twitter data showed that Trump, and the two main rivals in the fight for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, were the three most tweeted about presidential candidates during the State of the Union. Sanders was the only one present in the chamber. Those three candidates also gained the most Twitter followers during the speech.