Osama Bin Laden Death News Sets Tweets Per Second Record

    May 2, 2011
    Josh Wolford

If you were on Twitter last night, you don’t need anyone to tell you that there was a lot of talk about Osama Bin Laden. In fact, in my personal experience, I only found about 5 or so tweets on my feed within a 2 hour span that weren’t about the breaking news of his death.

And I firmly believe that any of my friends that were tweeting about other things were doing so simply to be some sort of trend-bucking contrarian. Sorry, I don’t care about your cat. I know he is curled up inside the dryer. Sorry, I have real news to read about.

But it seems as those people not tweeting about Osama Bin Laden were in the vast minority, as Twitter announced today that last night a new record was set for sustained Tweets per second. I’ll let them tell you:

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] 2 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

An even more precise update: Twitter averaged 3440 TPS from 10:45 to 12:30pm ET last night 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

That is a whole lotta activity. The highest peak was an staggering 5,106 TPS at 11pm, just before President Obama made his speech. As many as this is, it still doesn’t come close to the all time spike in TPS – 6,939 just minutes after the new year in Japan. It does beat the TPS spike during Super Bowl XLV, which set a sporting event record at 4,064.

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] 2 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Below is the graph of the Tweets Per Second between 9:30 pm and 12:30 am. Many people have said in the aftermath of last night’s news that Twitter was their go-to for information. Many didn’t even follow traditional TV coverage except to watch Obama’s speech. Twitter already has popularity, but last night it may have just gained total legitimacy.