Election day in the United States became the most tweeted about event in US political history on Tuesday with enthusiastic netizens firing off 20 million poll-related tweets, the social network said.
Americans flocked to Twitter and other platforms all day in a massive social media burst, posting photographic proof they had cast their ballots, cheering their favourite candidates along and analysing the latest polls.
“With 20 million tweets, election day just became the most tweeted about event in US political history,” Twitter announced on its official government and politics account.
When television networks called the victory, Twitter went into manic overdrive, with election-related tweets rising to an average of 327,453 a minute.
The number far surpassed the 10.3 million tweets sent during the first presidential debate last month – an event the popular social network had at the time billed a record in US political history.
In an indication of the importance of social networks in the presidential race, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took to Twitter, Facebook and Reddit just hours ahead of polls closing to make last-ditch pushes for votes.
“This happened because of you. Thank you,” Obama tweeted to 22 million followers just minutes after the first US network called his victory.
“Four more years,” he said straight afterwards, posting a photo of himself hugging first lady Michelle Obama as other TV networks followed suit and, one-by-one, announced his re-election as 44th president of the United States.
Four more years. twitter.com/BarackObama/st… 
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012 
The post was his most re-tweeted – with 432,000 shares – according to Twitter’s government and politics account. Popular website BuzzFeed said  it was also the most popular ever, overtaking a message from singer Justin Bieber.
The same picture of a relieved and happy-looking Obama hugging his wife appeared on the president’s Facebook account – and was shared tens of thousands of times by some of his 32 million fans.
“We did it, we voted for you, now please dear president Obama do what you said you will do, make us proud: Education, Health Care, Green Energy for USA!,” Angela De Jesus said under the photo, one of 80,000 comments.
The campaigns have used social media extensively over the past few months to push people to vote and even try and beat the record 2008 turnout, when two-thirds of US voters cast a ballot.