Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Note: Stories limited to English language, North American publishers only. Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Sure, the oil industry is in historic turmoil, but with an entire world gripped by the coronavirus crisis, social media users are gravitating to other topics.

Driving the news: Social media interactions on stories about oil and gasoline prices have consistently ranked relatively low during the past month as the coronavirus crisis choked oil demand and wreaked havoc on the industry, according to NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

The big picture: The pandemic is upending the lives of virtually everyone on Earth and throwing nearly every industry into chaos. Sectors that are more consumer-facing, like restaurants, see the most social engagement online.

The intrigue: One of the direct repercussions of this unprecedented oil-industry turmoil is rock-bottom oil — and therefore, gasoline prices. Here’s the rub:

  • People hardly dwell on cheap gas prices in normal times, but that's even more the case now as most of us aren’t driving or flying nearly as much.
  • Only when energy is expensive or gone do the masses really pay attention.
  • This makes it especially hard to convey the sector’s struggles to the masses — and President Trump, who loves cheap oil.

Where it stands: Stories on oil and gas prices saw the highest engagement in early March, right around the time a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia broke out and prompted a big drop in oil prices.

Flashback: Benedict Nicholson, head of research and editorial at NewsWhip, notes that oil news in general received more engagement at the end of July 2019, right when the Green New Deal was receiving a lot of media attention.

Yes, but: Engagement online is just one narrow — but influential — barometer of attention.

Go deeper: Oil is America’s other economic crisis

Go deeper

26 mins ago - Podcasts

Podcast: After the Biden inaugural

Joe Biden was sworn in today as America's 46th president in an inauguration unlike any other in modern history.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the speech, the atmosphere and what it all tells us about the incoming administration, with Axios political reporters Hans Nichols and Alexi McCammond.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Representatives from all branches of the military escort the 46th president to the White House.