Obama breaks social media history

In addition to retaining his position as Commander in Chief, United States President Barack Obama yesterday made social media history. 

A photo posted by Mr Obama on his Twitter and Facebook pages is the most retweeted and shared ever on the social networking sites. 

The shot of a happy-looking Mr Obama holding his wife Michelle in a loving embrace - captioned with the words "four more years" - had been retweeted more than 729,000 times by this morning and "liked" by 3.6 million people on Facebook.

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Mr Obama announced his win in the race for the presidency around 11pm on Tuesday, US time, on social networks with the photo, hours before his victory speech, reflecting the importance of the internet to his campaign. 

"This Barack Obama photo is the most-liked Facebook photo of all time," the social network announced.

Meanwhile, Twitter said in a blog post that people sent more than 31 million election-related tweets throughout election day, with up to 874,560 tweets being posted per minute.

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"These numbers reflect the largest election-related Twitter conversation during our six years of existence," said Mazen Rawashdeh, Twitter's vice president of infrastructure operations engineering.

Twitter usually sees a spike in activity during large events, such as New Year's Eve or the Olympics Closing Ceremony, but during yesterday's election there was a sustained jump in Twitter traffic.

There was an average of about 9965 tweets per second from 8.11pm to 9.11pm US Pacific Time, with a one-second peak of 15,107 tweets per second at 8.20pm and a one-minute peak of 874,560 tweets per minute.

Throughout the bitter campaign, both Mr Obama and his Republican foe Mitt Romney used Twitter, Facebook and other sites to capture supporters and encourage them to vote. 

smh.com.au

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