On the evening of President Obama’s announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed, Twitter traffic went off the charts. First, newspapers emailed news alerts announcing that the president was making a speech about a topic of “an undisclosed nature”, which catapulted the speculation of the blogosphere.
As the President made his announcement, there was an outpouring of patriotic spirit around the nation, on and offline. Twitter recorded the tweets made during and after his speech, and found there to be the highest sustained rate of tweets ever, about 3,000 per second. FlowingData visualizes the tweets in a graph:
Look at the huge increase of tweets between 10:30 and 10:45, and between 10:45 and 11:00. Americans clearly were moved by the news, expressing reactions to it in 140 characters or less. This is the type of twitter action that marketers dream about.