Another watershed moment for digital media
Who would have believed during the last American presidential election campaign the phenomenal impact of social media just four years later? While the 2008 campaign was known as the first social media election, not many would have foreseen that the first words the world heard from the victorious Obama as he entered a second term would come in the form of a Tweet. Already, that simple, heartfelt message ‘Four more years’, together with the photo of Obama embracing his wife, has become the most retweeted in history – shared 546,000 times by this morning.
Known as ‘the Twitter election’, many will claim that Obama’s mastery of social media played a key role in his ultimate success. Twitter’s Government feed confirmed that this year’s election day was the ‘most tweeted about event in US political history’ with over 20 million tweets. As the election was called in the early hours, US election-related Tweets hit an average of 327,452 a minute.
Yet another demonstration that social media can no longer be dismissed as a passing fad or the preserve of the young – with millions of people worldwide on Twitter and Facebook, it is ubiquitous and has a massive impact on international politics.