Want Breaking News? Go to Twitter

May 2, 2011 at 4:45 PM Leave a comment

Cable news isn’t the place to go anymore for breaking news.  Last night was a case in point:

Fueled by speculation and anticipation, Sunday night’s rumors and commentary about Osama bin Laden’s death fueled the highest sustained rate of tweets ever.

Twitter spokesperson Jodi Olson reports that between 10:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. EST there was an average of 3,440 tweets per second. Compare that to an average of 3,000 tweets per second during the highest traffic period of this year’s Super Bowl.

Sunday night, Twitter traffic reached its peak approximately 30 minutes after Keith Urbahn tweeted that bin Laden had been killed. At exactly 11 p.m. EST, there were 5,106 Tweets per second.

Last Friday’s Royal Wedding saw a peak of only 3,966 tweets per second at 4 p.m. London Time. The record for tweets per second remains midnight New Year’s Eve, 2011.


And there’s this:

I first saw tweets about Bin Laden’s death start sometime around 10:30pm(EST). At first no one was sure if this was true or just an internet hoax that was taking off, but by about 10:45pm(EST) most of the TV channels had switched to some sort of coverage about it, so I knew it was real. From there, the tweets just kept on coming. By 11:30 Barack Obama had come on TV to address the world and tell us all what had happened.


It was funny watching the cables trying to get up and running last night after they had settled in for what they thought would be a sleepy Sunday evening.  They obviously had only skeleton crews hanging around so it took 15-20 minutes for the big kids to take the stage.

I thought CNN’s Don Lemon looked particularly out-of-place and stunned while he was manning the desk after it was announced Obama would speak at such an unusual time and with so little notice.

Twitter was the place to go while the cables fumbled.


Entry filed under: Media - General, Social Media.

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