Fast Company

Tweets Lit Up the New Year's Night

Twitter visualization tracks our 140-character feelings about 2011 as the clock strikes midnight around the world.

You know that famous NASA photo of the earth lit up at night--the one where you can see that the eastern seaboard is gobbling up electricity like there's no tomorrow while most of sub-Saharan Africa is stuck in darkness?

Twitter created a similar kind of visualization using data about where people were tweeting on New Year's Eve. It's amazing how pouring a bunch of data into a map like this produces a certain sense of kinship with our global brethren, as we watch various parts of the world light up 'round midnight.

According to Twitter, it was at four seconds past the new year in Japan when tweeters set a new record for overall number of tweets-per-second: 6,939. That more than doubled the previous TPS* record--3,283--when Japan beat Denmark in last year's World Cup. Tweeters on the east coast were working their keyboards at such a furious pace on New Year's that their peak rate alone--of 3,000 tweets per second--almost topped the previous all-time high set at the World Cup.

*Perhaps we now know what those infamous reports in Office Space were about.

[Image: Fireworks: Flickr user Amani Hasan]

E.B. Boyd's coordinates: Twitter, email.

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2 Comments

  • Nicholas

    This is a pretty cool story. We did a post on our blog about it as well going into why Japan may have been a little more active than the US with Tweets. Their New Year celebration, Oshogatsu, is more about connecting with friends and family.

    You can read more on the blog at http://blog.moscreative.com

    -Nick
    MOS Creative