The recent inauguration of Barack Obama showcased how much social media has become a part of Americans’ daily lives. Throughout his campaign, Obama’s team utilized social media to connect with supporters and allow them to organize their friends, voice their opinions, and give donations. So it is only fitting that social media was a fundamental part of the inauguration coverage.
For the inauguration coverage, Facebook joined forces with CNN.com to create an effective and interactive online experience. While CNN.com streamed the inauguration live, anyone with a Facebook account could see what their friends and others across the country were saying about the events.
Not only were participants able to view their friends’ updates, but could also see those of anyone logged in and watching the inauguration on CNN. This gave people the opportunity to participate in the event even though they were sitting at a computer.
The inauguration brought a huge surge of traffic to CNN.com. During the coverage, there were 25 million video views and over 600,000 Facebook status updates posted through CNN.com. During Obama’s speech, there were 4,000 status updates every minute.
Social media began as a way for people to connect with friends and family. It is now expanding and being used by political campaigns and companies as a way to reach their constituents and consumers. Obama’s campaign used social media effectively from the beginning and continues to utilize it in the early days of his presidency.
Another interesting fact is that the number of views of the inauguration online was double the number of TV views. Part of this could be that it took place during the middle of the day on a Tuesday and most people were at work. Regardless, the interactive coverage allowed more people to witness and be involved in this special day than would normally have been able to.