Both Twitter and Facebook played a big role in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, as this was the first national election since social-networking technology became mainstream.
There was a lot of focus on Twitter during the primaries, and it was very widely used during the presidential debates. However Twitter use exploded on Election Day, as Twitter reported that about 31 million tweets were posted, peaking at 327,452 tweets per minute just after the national news networks began calling the election for President Obama.
Facebook also was very actively used in the election. Countless users posted Facebook updates that they had voted and what the lines at the polling places were like. Meanwhile, Facebook posted a message on users' pages reminding them to vote and provided a link to the Facebook Polling Place Locator. ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerravala says social networking contributed greatly to the election, especially in terms of providing opinion broadly. "Twitter lit up the day before and the day of the election with people giving opinions on everything from legalizing pot to who to vote for," he says.
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