Now that the race for the White House is over, you can return to your normal timeline of checking your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Social media was ubiquitous throughout this election. During the first presidential debate in Denver a record number of 10.3 million tweets was sent out. Before the tv pundits had spoken a word, the conventional wisdom had already coalesced. The second and third debates drew fewer tweets, but still hefty numbers: 7.2 million tweets sent out during the second presidential debate and for the third debate, 6.5 million tweets.
If you were too busy (or nervous) to watch the network broadcasts, your Twitter stream let you know the consensus on which candidate had won. And you could see, in real time, the development of memes like “horses and bayonets,” “Big Bird,” or “binders full of women.” On Election Night, according to the Twitter blog, when the networks declared Obama the winner, 327,452 tweets per minute were recorded, marking it the most tweeted moment of Election 2012.
TV anchors like Chuck Todd provided a depth of analysis that 140-character commentary couldn’t quite match. But Twitter provided the community conversation of a huge, lively Election Night viewing party.