#BBCtrending: 'The dream is over' for #YesScotland
Scotland's "Yes" campaign had led the conversation on social media for months, so defeat saw disappointment trend throughout the night - as did jokes about Alex Salmond.
"Let's not dwell on the distance we've fallen short - let us dwell on the distance we have travelled," Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond posted on Twitter just before 7am today, his message now shared more than 3,000 times. Some of his supporters put more succinctly: "That's it... the dream is over," said one, as the official result was called just after 6am.
In the last 24 hours there has been a deluge of social media activity around the election. On Twitter, more than 2 million messages were posted about the referendum, as well as tens of thousands of public Facebook status updates, many in a final bid to influence voters going to the polls. Almost 85% of the electorate filled polling booths across Scotland, and this picture from Edinburgh was retweeted more than 1,300 times.
The loss comes despite the "Yes" campaign dominating the conversation across multiple platforms. In the past two days hashtags relating the pro-independence campaign were mentioned 378,000 times, as against just 138,000 for Better Together. Data released by Facebook this week also showed that independence campaigners had generated more discussion, though the gap was less pronounced.
More than 32,000 images have been uploaded to Instagram using the hashtag #indyref - many coming on the night itself - and providing a steady stream of humour to coincide with the results.
Shortly after the polls closed Irn Bru began trending on Twitter, and was still popular hours later as bleary eyed voters tried to stay awake. "I'm double-handing coffee & Irn-Bru!" said one. The soft drink, which is popular in Scotland, has been mentioned more than 6,500 times on Twitter in the last day.
At around 4am this image of Alex Salmond emerged showing the SNP leader looking folorn, as early results did not go in his favour. "Sad Salmond", many tweeted, along with the picture.
"Smoked Salmond" declared hundreds more in the hour following the result. Lord Sugar tweeted the phrase to more than 3.5 million followers, adding: "Cameron will be gloating today".
The parody account Angry Salmond, which has played affectionately with the referendum's biggest personality throughout the campaign, simply showed the leader in tears and said: "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to."
Throughout the night, the referendum trended around the world - featuring in the Twitter top ten in Australia, the USA, France and Russia. In both Kuwait and the UAE, a misspelt hashtag has been used by thousands - seemingly unaware of the error. #FreeScoltand has appeared more than 3,500 times in the last day from those two countries alone. "The dream of #FreeScoltand has been DASHED!," said one.
The BBC has produced an interactive map showing global discussion around the #indyref hashtag, available here.
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