Last week, I blogged about how the Royal Wedding dominated the social media world. This week, we have another huge event significantly increasing Internet traffic. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – Osama bin Laden’s death.
I enjoyed finding statistics from the social media sites for the wedding of Kate and William, so I decided to write a similar blog as I did in week eight. But this time is a way different occurrence. Instead of celebrating a wedding, America is celebrating a death. I found an interesting article written by CNN staff writer, David Goldman, which deals with Twitter, Google, News sites and the death of bin Laden.
On Sunday night during the news event’s peak, Twitter users were posting 5,106 tweets per second. This traffic on Twitter is the second-highest volume of tweets in Twitter’s history. The first is when Japan brought in the 2011 New Year, tallying 6,939 tweets per second. From 10:45 p.m. to 2:20 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, the average of tweets reached 3,000 per second. This represented the highest sustained rate of tweets per second in Twitter’s lifetime. Another interesting fact is that before the White House told the news media that bin Laden had been killed, a former Secretary of Defense posted the word on his Twitter:
“So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama bin Laden. Hot Damn.”
Google Trends ranked the keywords “Osama bin Laden dead” as “volcanic,” the top level Google assigns for a trending topic. Osama bin Laden’s story resulted in a peak of more than 4.1 million page views per second on news websites supported and tracked by content delivery network Akamai, which delivers about 20% of the Internet’s content. Akamai supports nytimes.com, reuters.com, bbc.com and usatoday.com. Osama’s death brought roughly 2.5 million page views per second on those pages. However, this story did not rank in the company’s top 10 news events for the highest page-view peaks. The Royal Wedding ranked sixth on Akamai’s list with 5.4 million page views per second.
I (unlike most people) did see the news on bin Laden’s death first on the television while watching Dateline NBC. However, my friends and thousands of others across the world heard the news first on Twitter or Facebook.