Micro-blog Twitter experienced a record number of tweets following news of the death of Osama Bin Laden this week. The news, which broke in the US on the evening of May 1, led to a sustained spike between the hours of 10.45pm and 12.30 am. The record is yet another indication of the role that Twitter now plays in modern culture.
The site recorded two hours of frenzied activity after the news broke, with more than 3000 tweets per second for the entire period.
The sustained number of tweets did not break Twitter’s record for tweets per second at its peak. Former news events, such as the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan earlier this year, outstripped the Bin Laden news for most number of tweets recorded any second, with the Japanese news peaking at 5530 tweets and Bin Laden news peaking at 5106. New Year’s Eve tweets peaked at 6939 tweets.
Although the site did not release data on tweets from unique users for the time period, the tweet record is a firm indication of the site’s popularity as a modern personal news channel. Around 25 million tweets were posted in the time period.
The continued popularity of Twitter affirms its place of importance not just for those seeking to make the news, but for those researching markets as well. Many SEO careers have had their start via Twitter, using the site’s resources for social and marketing data. With the site’s place as a news source established, even more businesses are likely to start paying attention to Twitter.