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5,000 updates on bin Laden – per second

Even before President Obama officially informed the world that the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, had been killed, news of the operation spread through social networks such as Twitter.

According to Twitter, the highest traffic flow ever was achieved. Between 10:45 PM and 2:20 AM EST, the average traffic flow was 3,000 tweets (status updates) per second. At 23:00, traffic peaked at 5,106 tweets per second. By the time Obama finished his speech, at 11:45 p.m., traffic was at 5,008 tweets per second.

In comparison, tweeting during this year’s Superbowl during a 20-minute period was over 3,000 tweets per second and peaked at 4,064 tweets per second.

According to analysts, this shows that social networks are increasingly becoming the communication channel that people turn to when major events occur.

– Facebook and Twitter are fast becoming the de facto standard for communication. It’s like “communication crack”. Once you start, it’s hard to stop, says Zeus Kerravala, analyst at Yankee Group.

IDG News

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