Last night, immediately following the projection that Barack Obama had won a second term as President of the United States, the number of Instagram photos uploaded each second surged to 2.1x the normal rate.

People from around the United States tagged more than 100,000 photos with #IVoted, and 150,000 photos with #election2012, allowing folks to share their own—and tune into others’—election night experience in real-time.

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. 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.