As with Google, Twitter saw a spike in activity related to the death of Steve Jobs. However, the company said that the number of tweets per second didn’t break new records.
The Peak Records
Twitter told us that at 5pm PT yesterday, it saw 6,049 tweets per second happening at peak, with tweets continuing throughout the night and into today.
This leaves the news of Beyonce announcing her pregnancy during the MTV Video Music awards as the all-time record holder.
Records to date, for tweets per second (TPS), as peak times, as has been reported by Twitter to date:
- 8,868 TPS: Beyonce/MTV Video Music Awards (Aug. 28, 2011)
- 7,196 TPS: Japan Beats US In Women’s World Cup (July 17, 2011)
- 7,166 TPS: Brazil eliminated from Copa America (July 17, 2011)
- 6,939 TPS: New Year’s Eve 2011 (Dec. 31, 2010)
- 6,049 TPS: Steve Jobs death (Oct. 5, 2011)
- 5,531 TPS: Game 6 of NBA Finals, Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat (June 17, 2011)
- 5,530 TPS: Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami (March 11, 2011)
- 5,500 TPS: East Coast Earthquake (Aug. 23, 2011)
- 5,106 TPS: Osama bin Laden killed (May 1, 2011)
- 4,064 TPS: Super Bowl 2011 (Feb. 5, 2011)
- 3,966 TPS: Royal Wedding (April 29, 2011)
Twitter’s Remarkable Growth As Seen By Records
To give you perspective on how much Twitter has grown — and how much is better able to handle the activity it receives, something that CEO Dick Costolo remarked upon last month — consider that when Michael Jackson died, on June 25, 2009, a new record was broken at that time – 456 TPS. Then, tweets per second in the hundreds challenged Twitter. Now, tweets per seconds nearly the 10,000 mark don’t bring it down.
True, Twitter did have problems last night. I never saw a fail whale, but there were times briefly when I had trouble sending or receiving tweets, and I saw others remark the same. But for the most part, it held up well.
“Peak” Tweets Vs “Sustained” Activity
Another thing some might wonder, as Nick Bilton did on Twitter. Really, Beyonce having a baby was seemingly more important on Twitter than the death of Steve Jobs?
It might seem so, but you also have to consider that the TPS figures are for peak times. For almost all of those record events other than Jobs, there was one moment when lots of people immediately learned about something at the same time. That makes it easy for a particular event to have a high peak.
Consider that when Beyonce shared her news, it was broadcast to millions of people who were watching TV. They immediately tweeted. The Brazil elimination was also something broadcast and happened in a particular moment. New Year’s Eve, earthquakes in Japan and on the East Coast also were largely tied to a particular peak moment.
In light of that, the Jobs figure is even more remarkable. This wasn’t an event that happened at one particular moment, that millions witnessed at once. It was a news story that started spreading virally through social media channels like Twitter.
Considered like that, the Jobs activity is a record holder of its own. The closest other viral event like that, which also had a peak record, was when Osama bin Laden’s death was reported.
At that time, Twitter also gave out a “sustained rate of tweets” figure, a period of super high activity. The bin Laden news saw a period of activity of 3,000 TPS maintained over two hours, which was a record at that time. It could be that tweets about Steve Jobs dying broke that record. I’ll see if I can learn more.
Trending On Twitter; Top Pictures
Twitter also saw many terms related to Jobs trend. Here’s how worldwide trends looked last night at 7:45pm PT: