This post was originally published on Lalawag.
Last night, Twitter clocked a record 8,868 tweets per second. The cause of the big bump? A baby bump. R&B singer Beyonce’s baby bump to be exact, which she revealed at 10:35PM ET during the MTV Video Music Awards.
The awards, which took place at the Nokia Theater here in sunny Los Angeles, also set a record for MTV. According to TechCrunch, the network “also saw record online viewership of the event, with 2.3 million video streams for the day. MTV reports that on Sunday, MTV.com attracted its biggest VMA day audience ever (nearly 2 million), while MTV’s mobile site scored its biggest day ever, including 2.7 million mobile views. MTV.com also had its highest level of referrals from Twitter ever on Sunday and it was ‘the most social VMA day ever,’ according to the network.”
TechCrunch also had some interesting stats to put that Twitter record into perspective. For example, prior to Beyonce’s record-breaking reveal, the US Women’s Soccer Team held the tweets/second record, with 7,196 tweets sent per second during their July game against Japan. Osama Bin Laden’s assassination also caused a tweets/second spike, capping out at 5,106. During the royal wedding, almost 23 million viewers tuned in on TV’s worldwide. That caused a spike of 3,966 tweets/second.
It’s interesting to see how symbiotic Twitter and these live television events are now. In the course of a few short years, it’s become hard to imagine a moment like Beyonce’s big reveal happening without a chorus of Twitter reactions blowing up in the background. Sure, the Britney and Madonna kiss went viral — by 2003 standards. In this day and age, it may very well have brought down the internet. Or at least the Twitter stream.
Not to get too academic about it, but personally, I love that the world can — to an extent — experience these events together. Sure, Beyonce’s pregnancy isn’t exactly world-changing news of sociopolitical import. But, it’s a shared topic of conversation and maybe, just maybe, that conversation can be a conduit to connection and engagement across global, political and ideological boundaries. Sort of like the Golden Arches theory with hashtags instead of hash browns. Twitter — over 200 million served…so far.