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B Obama's win makes 4 huge txt msg spike

November 6, 2008 |  9:14 pm

Text messages surged the night that Barack Obama won the presidency The real winner on Nov. 4 wasn't Barack Obama. It was the cellphone industry.

Text messaging spiked on election night, service providers say, with AT&T reporting a 44% surge in traffic. That's the largest increase in text messaging in the company's history, according to Alana Semuels, who writes for The Times' Technology blog.

Semuels says Sprint saw a 30% increase in text messages in L.A. County between 7 and 9 p.m. on election night.

So, who was doing all that texting?

Earlier on election day, Obama's campaign (which is known for its technological savvy) sent out waves of text messages to supporters, urging voters to the polls.

But the evening spike was probably just people celebrating -- or commiserating -- as the returns rolled in.

-- Kate Linthicum

Spking of text msgs: Get alerts sent 2 ur cell 4 each new TKT item on the pres winner, new admin, new Congress and all things political. Go here to register.

Photo credit: Barack Obama holds his BlackBerry before a conference call with supporters (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)