Twitter Sees Highest “Sustained” Activity Ever In Wake Of Osama Bin Laden News

Twitter has released new numbers showing last night’s announcement that Osama bin Laden was dead generated the most activity on the service that it has ever seen, in terms of “sustained rate of tweets.”

From 10:45 PM Eastern time on May 1 through 12:30 AM on May 2, there were on average 3,440 tweets per second (TPS) happening, according to stats that Twitter has released to the press.

This was the “highest sustained rate of tweets ever,” the company said. It also released a chart of the activity:

By “sustained rate of tweets,” Twitter is talking about a high rate of activity continuously over a stretch of time. For over two hours last night, tweets per second were above the 3,000 mark. In contrast, tweets per second were only above level that during Super Bowl 2011 for 20 minutes, Twitter said.

Other Events Still Had Bigger “Peak” Activity

In terms of “peak” TPS, for the most tweets per second at a given moment, yesterday’s news was high but not record breaking.

At exactly 11:00 PM Eastern, tweets peaked 5,106 per second, putting the announcement behind the Japanese earthquake and last New Year’s Eve (which is the all time tweets per second record, Twitter says).

Here are some comparison stats that Twitter released:

  • New Year’s Eve 2011 (Dec. 31, 2010): 6,939 tweets per second, at peak
  • Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami (March 11, 2011): 5,530 tweets per second, at peak (five times that day, TPS went over the 5,000 mark. There were 177 million tweets in all, that day.)
  • Osama bin Laden Dead: 5,106 tweets per second, at peak (5,008 when Obama finished his statement)
  • Super Bowl 2011: 4,064 tweets per second, at peak
  • Royal Wedding: 3,966 tweets per second, at peak (at 4pm UK time):


Related Topics: Channel: Social | Features: General | Stats: General | Twitter


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Matt Rhys-Davies

    Wow, just wow. That is an incredible volume to sustain.

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