The night the lights went out in Louisiana, keyboards around the globe kept buzzing — clacking out nearly twice as many tweets about the big game and its halftime show as last year. This isn’t a huge surprise, considering that last night’s football championship may have been the most-watched in TV history; still, the sheer deficit between 2012 and 2013’s tweet totals is pretty remarkable.
According to Twitter’s own blog, users sent more than 24 million micro-messages over the course of last night’s Super Bowl. That dwarfs last year’s total of 13.7 million tweets. In fact, says Twitter, that number had already been surpassed by the beginning of the game’s second half.
Sunday’s tweet-a-palooza was driven to further heights by that 33-minute power outage, which gave spectators at home and in the Superdome no choice but to amuse themselves with the glow of their smartphones. The blackout drew 231,500 tweets per minute, making it by far the most-tweeted moments of the game. Savvy marketing teams also took it as an opportunity to promote their own products in a cheeky way:
Perhaps most remarkably of all, Twitter notes that it took “just four minutes for the first Promoted Tweet to appear against searches for [power outage] on Twitter.” This is what happens when social media managers weaned on Tumblr get real jobs. Be afraid, America; be very afraid.