Originally published as Move Over Obama, The Real Winner on Election Night on Technorati Social Media
The real winner of the election last night going forward, considering Barack Obama will most certainly not be running next election cycle, could prove to be Twitter, and social media in general who managed to break several records last night. It also positioned itself not only as a source of information and coming together online for voters, but a powerful ‘battleground’ in it’s own right. And while the social media battleground might not hold any electoral votes, it’s influence in determining the outcome of elections moving forward shouldn’t be under-estimated.
Twitter brought people closer to almost every aspect of the election this year. From breaking news, to sharing the experience of watching the debates, to interacting directly with the candidates, Twitter became a kind of nationwide caucus. – Rachael Horwitz, Twitter spokeswoman
Speaking to Reuters, Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons said, “In future elections, candidates and their campaign staffs will have to include social media as another battleground.” This is highlighted when you look at the Twitter numbers specifically, where numerous records were broken. Records include the most re-tweets ever, which was a celebratory message from@BarackObama, including the photo below which measured 455,000 re-tweets (and counting)according to Twitter.
This, along with the most tweets about a political event with 31 million, who displaced the previous number one tweeted about political event, the first debate on October 3rd, which recorded 10 million tweets. It also reached a record breaking tweets-per-minute (TPM) number of 327,452 at around 11:19pm ET when most of the Networks called the election for Obama. Some other notable TPM number according to Twitter include:
- 8:03pm ET – (65,106 TPM): Polls close in various sates; AP calls races for IL, CT, ME, DC, DE, RI, MD, and MA.
- 9:33pm ET – (69,031 TPM): PA and WI races called
- 11:12pm ET – (85,273 TPM): IA race called
- 11:19pm ET – (327,452 TPM): Networks call Obama’s re-election
Twitter also provided a glimpse into International relations, and how leaders of other countries responded to the results of the election here in the U.S. Where a phone call was once in order, a tweet is now also considered an appropriate congratulatory gesture from the likes of UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and the Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohd Najib Tun Razak to name a couple.
The President actually used Twitter to address his followers before even taking the stage in Chicago, which says quite a bit about the tremendous impact social media, and Twitter in particular play in politics these days. According to Reuters, Twitter spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz stated, “Twitter brought people closer to almost every aspect of the election this year. From breaking news, to sharing the experience of watching the debates, to interacting directly with the candidates, Twitter became a kind of nationwide caucus.”
It makes sense, with the increasing use of social media, that these numbers which were recorded last night will be broken in subsequent election years. This really just marks a beginning, rather than the end, for social media and politics. The question now becomes how to best use Twitter and social media to help elect candidates, get the vote out, interact directly with candidates, and use the unique features of this communications channel to improve the election process for everyone.