Social Media and the Presidential Inauguration

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I remember when our President was first sworn into office back in 2009. Social media was this cool evolving space and I remember thinking how awesome it was that he was the first president to fully embrace something so raw and so new and turning it into the catalyst that won him the presidency. I’d like to think these events, the advent of technology and social media are the reasons why the White House is so active on social media these days but I could be wrong.

Yesterday’s inauguration (political opinions aside) was an important day in our history. It also hit a few social media milestones. Four years later, President Barack Obama’s second inauguration has grown more interactive thanks to Twitter. The Twitter sphere exploded with pictures and tweets – and if you weren’t present, it almost felt like you were thanks to hashtags and mentions giving you an almost minute to minute break down of what was going on.

Aside from the several news sources reporting live on the scene, most of the action was closely followed on Twitter and a specific account created just for the inauguration - @obamainauguaral. Think that’s the only account related to the White House and the inauguration? Think again. Just before the inauguration, the first lady celebrated a milestone birthday, changed her look, and launched a brand new account of her own – @FLOTUS.

The presidential inauguration also had a Facebook site. If that isn’t enough coverage for you, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, responsible for the planning and execution of the president’s swearing-in ceremony, is also very active on Twitter,  @jccic2013 and Facebook. Still want more? The President’s official account, @barackobama, and the official White House account (@whitehouse) were also tweeting about the inauguration.

For those who want a broader view, perhaps you might want to take a look at some of these hashtags and see what people are tweeting – #inaug2013 and #iserve. If you want a political view of the inauguration, follow the conversation here: #tcot and #p2.

If you were lucky enough to attend live in DC (I really hope to one of these days) and are a FourSquare user, you had a chance to unlock a special badge. The inauguration committee also thought of those that are addicted to their smart phones and launched an iOS and Android app.

If you missed coverage of the event and you love Instagram, you’re in luck. As it turns out the President is on Instagram! However, sadly it wasn’t used. Fortunately, Pete Souza (the photographer responsible for some of the most iconic shots of the President and the First Lady) has posted some inauguration photos on his Twitter account.

In 2009, attendees complained of connectivity issues. Networks were overloaded and people had trouble getting a signal but not this year. For this inauguration, additional capacity was built out encouraging people to share their moments instantaneously and without hesitation. Attendees took this to heart and poor Sasha’s yawn became a trending topic on Yahoo!

Did you watch the Presidential inauguration? Did you share your reactions on Facebook and/or Twitter? Tell us what you noticed between now and then in the comments below.

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