Obama sets Twitter record

US president Barack Obama wasn't just clinching his second term in office yesterday, he was also setting a new Twitter record for the most retweets. The message – "Four more years" and a photo of Obama embracing wife Michelle – quickly smashed through the half-million retweets mark, and at time of writing is at over 630,000, collecting over 200,000 favorites along the way.

It's not the only popular message from the re-elected president in recent hours. A slightly earlier tweet – "This happened because of you. Thank you" – is approaching the quarter-million point in retweets.

In contrast, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has left his Twitter account update free since before the election results were confirmed. Obama's social networking presence has been cited by some as a key factor in how Democrats spread the party's message, accruing over 22m followers versus Romney's less than 2m.

The most-retweets record had previously been held by Justin Bieber, whose late-September message of "RIP Avalanna. i love you" currently sits at more than 220,000 retweets. Twitter's system only counts those retweets triggered through its official system, rather than with the old-style "RT" prefix, but even accounting for some wiggle-room it's clear Obama is ahead of the Canadian singer.