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October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs death spikes Internet traffic to record high

Tweets going past 10,000 tweets per second, says social media observer

By CBR Staff Writer

The death of Apple co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs has led to an overwhelming outpouring of grief in the Web world, with mourners overloading many social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

According to Australia-based social media tracker SR7, microblogging site Twitter likely registered a record 10,000 tweets per second as news broke of Jobs’ death at the age of 56.

SR7 said that the huge reaction to the death of the American innovator and tech guru has overshadowed the previous biggest event on Twitter. Earlier, singer Beyonce’s performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, where it was revealed that she was pregnant generated 8868 tweets per second.

Other popular events that triggered a massive response on social networking sites are: Japan beating USA in the women’s soccer World Cup finals in July (7196 tweets per second), Osama bin Laden’s death (5000 per second), the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March (5530 tweets per second ) and the British royal wedding (3966 tweets per second), according to AFP.

A dramatic surge was also seen on eBay and Amazon, which people flooded to buy books and things related to Jobs and Apple, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Company. Hollywoodreporter.com has revealed that US news sites CNN and the Washington Post were slowed down by Internet traffic jams.

SR7 said the tweet rate is likely to rise further.

SR7 co-founder Peter Fraser told AFP, "It has the potential to pass the all-time social media interactivity level, particularly on the Twitter platform where it will probably be in excess of 10,000 tweets per second."

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"We’re awaiting the official Twitter data to be released, however, from the numbers that we’ve been monitoring through the day since the announcement it’s certainly been trending to break that record."

Fraser added the response to Jobs’ death was an "extraordinary phenomenon."

"What you’re seeing across platforms is a remarkable level of interactivity," he said.

"When you look at the kinds of people that are commenting … it is a plethora of highly influential people around the world, each of whom have enormous followings in their own right, who are really building that momentum."

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