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For many Americans, social media now a major part of election night


November 8, 2012

When the TV networks projected that President Obama had won reelection, the first thing that he did was thank supporters — not with a statement to the mainstream media, but in a Twitter message, writing “We’re all in this together.That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you.”

As the Los Angeles Times reported, the message instantaneously went out to the President’s nearly 23 million followers on Twitter, a sign of how profoundly the digital revolution had transformed the 2012 election. 

Voters still watched coverage on TV, but the big difference from past elections was that they also used laptops, tablets and smartphones to share the experience with followers and friends around the country.

“I can’t imagine having only watched TV,” a mother of two in Eau Claire, Wis., said about her election-night experience. Using an iPad, she also followed the event on Twitter and Facebook, making her feel like she was at a social gathering, she said.

The Los Angeles Times noted that nearly 67 million people watched coverage of the elections on network news — far more than the 11 million who turned to Twitter, but only a portion of the 306 million who flocked to Facebook.  — Greg Beaubien



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