President Obama may have won re-election last night, but Twitter was the winning social network of #Election2012. Users turned to Twitter throughout the night to voice their opinions and also follow news as a complement to television coverage or other online updates.
More than 20 million tweets were sent about the election on November 6, making this the most-tweeted political event since the first presidential debate in October, which generated 10 million tweets.
However, Business Insider reported that this high volume of political-related tweets didn’t even crack the top ten most tweeted-about moments overall, noting that the 2012 Oscars hit a high point with 18,000 tweets per second.
President Obama’s “Four more years” tweet, which he sent right before his acceptance speech, also made history, with more than 500,000 re-tweets and counting. Some outlets are reporting this makes it the most popular tweet of all time, though Twitter has not yet confirmed.
Twitter had an election page, which tracked mentions of the President Obama and Governor Romney, user sentiment of the candidates, and the issues and trends related to the election that were being discussed on Twitter.
But Twitter wasn’t the only social site seeing action last night. Obama leveraged Twitter and Reddit to encourage last minute voting. And while voters were warned not to give away too much on Instagram, Beyonce took to the photo-sharing site to show her support for President Obama. Tumblr users celebrated Obama’s victory, and Facebook and foursquare allowed users to broadcast, and also follow, when and where people voted.
Clearly, this was a social media election. Allowing voters to get more involved, share their opinions, and follow their favorite candidates via various platforms gave this election more color and interactivity—and will be something we see a lot in future elections.