A Victorious Obama: President and Social Media Record-Breaker

By - Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The election isn’t the only thing Barack Obama has won. The President’s victory over Mitt Romney also solidified his celebrity status on Twitter, beating Justin Bieber for the most popular tweet of all time. Twitter became an integral part of both Democratic and Republican campaigns, playing a far greater role than it did back in 2008. “The volume of conversation has exploded over the last several years There are more tweets every two days than every tweet sent before the 2008 election,” reported Adam Sharp, Twitter’s Head of Government, News, and Social Innovation. Additional statistics are testament to the explosive increase in Twitter traffic: the company saw a total of 1.8 million tweets on election day 4 years ago, compared to 10 million tweets during the first 90-minute debate earlier this year. At 8:19 pm PST, when Obama was declared president, Twitter generated 327,452 tweets per minute. And the tweets didn’t stop there. The President’s “Four More Years” tweet, featuring a photo of him hugging wife Michelle, has garnered over 3 times as many as Justin Bieber’s record-breaking tweet from September. It was also posted on Facebook, where it has amassed upwards of 3 million likes. Leave it to Obama to also break two Facebook records: Most Likes on a Facebook Item Ever and Most Likes on a Facebook Item in 24 Hours. Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday, claims that the President broke “the most significant social media records to date.” Records were being broken at 10 pm EST last night, and the numbers are still rising. After a 24-hour period, Guinness will confirm the final figures. If the numbers don’t prove just how instrumental a role social media has played in this election, consider this: the President tweeted before taking the stage in Chicago to make his victory speech. It is fascinating that he acknowledged his Internet fan base prior to the live audience at hand. His victory tweet, “This happened because of you. Thank you,” was followed by another, more personal one: “We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you. – bo.” This personal tweet (initialed to indicate that it is from Obama himself) accumulated 167,939 retweets within a half hour. Though only 13% of American Adults on Twitter are voters (according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre), there’s no denying how social media forums have become a mechanism for generating dialogue both online and off. And while not too many Tweeters vote, their influence certainly extends to Facebook, a more widely and consistently used platform. In the time that it has taken to write this article, the retweets and “Likes” continue to skyrocket. In just 20 minutes, the photo of Obama embracing the First Lady gained 24,904 more likes on Facebook, followed by 29,458 likes a mere 20 minutes later. At this rate, it’s unlikely Bieber – or anyone else, for that matter – will come close to rivaling Mr. Obama. Text: Nicola Parisi Photo: Twitter, Facebook Source: NBCNews.com, DailyMail.co.uk

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