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Osama Bin Laden’s Death Sparks 27.9 Million Tweets in 2 Hours

Osama Bin Laden’s Death Sparks 27.9 Million Tweets in 2 Hours

May 3, 2011

The breaking news of Osama Bin Laden’s death proved the massive power of social media. Before President Obama could formally announce the death of Bin Laden, records were already being broken with 3,000 Tweets per second, which totaled to 12.4 Million Tweets per hour or 27.9 Million Tweets in just 2 hours according to @Mashable.

In fact, the first Tweet to break the news of Bin Laden’s death was “I am told by a reputable person they have killed Osama bin Laden. Hot damn,” Tweeted by Keith Urbahn (@keithurbahn), Chief of Staff for the Office of Donald Rumsfeld and Navy Reserve intel officer.

When President Obama officially made the announcement at 11:45p.m. ET, there were already 5,008 Tweets per second. To put it in perspective, there were 4,064 Tweets per second during Super Bowl 2011 according to TechCrunch. However, the record for most tweets sent in the same second is still 6,939 — which happened during the most recent New Year in Japan.

Even more mind blowing was how Twitter user @ReallyVirtual unknowingly live-Tweeted the raid in Abbottabad that lead to Bin Laden’s death assuming that it was a helicopter crash at the time. He Tweeted, “A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S.”

He continued Tweeting, “Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter :-/.”

By the time news broke out that it was in fact Bin Laden’s compound that was raised, @ReallyVirtual was overwhelmed by media calls and a surge in Twitter followers from 751 to now being over 74,000 just 1 day later.

Social media monitoring firm, Sysomos, found that 63% of the tweets came from males, while 37% came from females.

If this is not convincing enough about the power of social media and how it’s been integrated in our daily lives, then I don’t know what is.

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