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Instagram, Twitter pull off major news

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at the election night party at McCormick Place in Chicago. (Nov. 7, 2012) Credit: AP

Superstorm Sandy and the 2012 Presidential Election could also prove to be monumental nights for social media giants Instagram and Twitter.

For Twitter, the Nov. 6 Election was a remarkable display of stability. It managed more than 300,000 tweets per minute during the night without the dreaded “Fail Whale” that signifies Twitter is down, a company director noted (on Twitter, of course). Granted, a product merely working as it should is not usually worthy of praise, but Twitter finally offered proof it can be relied upon during the biggest news events, when the demand for its service is greatest. That’s a departure from an unsteady past.

Meanwhile, Instagram’s chief executive, Kevin Systrom, is on the record saying the Oct. 30 storm was “probably the biggest event to be captured on Instagram.” That’s because more than 800,000 photos were tagged with “#Sandy.”

“People were actually interested in Sandy in real time,” he told GigaOM. “That’s a really interesting moment in U.S. history because you can look at events and see how it unfolds [sic].”

Check out Newsday’s collection of Instagram storm photos here.

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