Final Facebook Election Day Stats: Virtual Gifts Make a Big Splash

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As we noted yesterday, Election Day was a really big day for the spread of political information and influence through the social graph on Facebook. This afternoon, Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg released final stats on election-related activity on the site, and they’re quite impressive:

  • 5.4 million people shared that they’d voted with friends on Facebook
  • 2.4 million people joined Facebook’s Election Day event
  • 1.5 million people mentioned Obama, McCain, Palin, Biden or Election on their Facebook wall
  • 15 million people of voting age in the US logged in on election day

Virtual Gifts and the Day After

It was also a big event for virtual gifts on Facebook, as Facebook announced that over 2 million election-related virtual gifts were sent. And, in a very nicely executed campaign, the New York Times sponsored a “limited edition commemorative newspaper” gift bearing the headline, “Obama Wins” that was featured to users all day (and is still available). No official stats are available on how many times it was sent, but it’s quite possible that it’s higher than any other Facebook sponsored virtual gift campaign so far.

NY Times virtual gift home page promotion:

Public NY Times gift on wall:

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there is a lot to be learned by political marketers about the power of the social graph to create massive influence and collective action. There is also a lot to be learned by web app developers about the types of tools that can enable that kind of wide scale effective communication.

2008 will surely go down in history as the first election cycle in which Facebook and social networking services in general had a major impact in national American politics.

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