- By John C Abell
- May 2, 2011 |
As if a service with hundreds of millions of users needed to come of age, Twitter is said to have had its CNN moment Sunday night as the “place” where the news of the commando raid which killed Osama bin Laden was first shared.
From a Blackberry, no less.
Prior to that, Twitterers quickly spread the news about Obama’s hastily announced speech, long before one could find confirmation on Google News. And there was even a real-time account of what was going on in the neighborhood by an unsuspecting witness who complained of helicopter noise. All of this happened long before before President Obama made it official, and as news presenters on TV ran out of things to say.
Twitter didn’t weigh in with a statement or a blog post about the milestone reached Sunday night. Instead, it
tweeted some staggering numbers. It also provided a nifty graphic which showed that Tweeting peaked at 11 p.m. EDT, just as Americans would be tuning in to the late local news for the first time.
A record for tweets per second was not set — that is still NYE 2010 in Japan. It took four tweets — pesky 140-character limit — but the message was clear:
“Last night saw the highest sustained rate of Tweets ever. From 10:45 – 2:20am ET, there was an average of 3,000 Tweets per second [1/3]”Many of us will remember not only where we were when we heard the news, but how. I got the word in a Skype text — from my daughter a floor above me at home. Sure, I flipped on the TV right away, but like tens of millions of others, I whiled away the time before Obama spoke staring at my smartphone to catch up on the known details — and the Trump jokes — on Twitter.
“At 11p.m. ET, there were 5,106 Tweets per second. At 11:45p.m. ET, when Pres. Obama finished his remarks, there were 5,008 TPS [2/3]”
“Note: The TPS numbers we reported last night were incomplete [3/3]”
“An even more precise update: Twitter averaged 3440 TPS from 10:45 to 12:30pm ET last night”
But it’s clear that these days, if you want your news and commentary at the speed at which birds of a feather communicate, Twitter is the place to be.