There was so much hype around the elections and you can’t really blame anyone for that – the fate of a nation depended on the U.S. presidential elections. Turns out, people still have faith in Barack Obama, who is now serving his second term.
People tweeted by the tens of thousands their reactions during the whole of the election season, and it was a mix of good, bad and frustrated. But words, as they say, are not enough to express one’s true feeling, leaving imagery to do the rest. Enter Instagram, the platform that wholly embodies the cliche, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And as the photo-sharing platform takes on Twitter as a real-time sharing network, Instagram also experienced a surge in usage on election day.
According Instagram, “photos uploaded each second surged to 2.1x the normal rate,” on election day, with people from the US tagged more than 100,000 photos with #IVoted and more than 150,000 photos were tagged with #election2012.
“The intimacy and immediacy of the Instagram experience has fostered new and meaningful connections across the globe, whether it’s looking through the lens of a family member across town, or a favorite candidate barnstorming across the nation,” Instagram said in a blog post. “We love watching people share photos in new and interesting ways, and we’re excited about the potential Instagram has to bring us all closer together.”
But what were people sharing on Instagram?
One of the most popular accounts on Instagram is barackobama, which is run by the Obama 2012 staff with 1,700,106 followers at the time when this piece was written. And right now, the most popular photo of Obama on Instagram is the one where confettis adorns him, snapped when he took the stage after his victory was announced. The photo is liked by more than 189K Instagram users, and has 8373 comments.
But what’s interesting is how voters showed their support or interest for the election on Instagram. If you thought many shared photos of the candidates, then you may be surprised to hear that “duck face” photos with iVote stickers were the trend on Instagram. Yup, the awful “duck face” phenomenon tarnished the election in more ways than one.
The stickers were either placed on the lips while doing the duck face, on the cheeks while doing the duck face, the forehead while doing… you get my point. Not only that, the innocent stickers were used just so people could flaunt their cleavage and even heavage (that’s man cleavage).
Pet enthusiasts were not to be outdone, as they posted photos of their furry friends with the iVote stickers on them or wearing something that shows support for their candidate. And of course, if pets were wearing election-inspired gear, humans went above and beyond, wearing shirts with names or faces of the candidates. Indeed, there was plenty of US flag-inspired clothing and accessories to grace Instagram this election year.
And of course, the photo of a voter dressed as Big Bird went viral. If you’re not sure why Big Bird is such a hot topic during the election, it was because Mitt Romney said during the first presidential debate that he’d cut funding for PBS, the donation-supported network that makes Sesame Street, where the character of Big Bird is from.