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Twitter Breaks Record During Super Bowl XLVI: 12,233 Tweets Per Second

Meanwhile, TV viewership of the New York Giants’ 21-17 defeat over the New England Patriots remained flat, if not a bit down, from last year.

Twitter connected last night on its hashtag Hail Mary.


The social service set a new record for gameday activity during Super Bowl XLVI12,233 tweets per second at the end of the game. The second highest rate came during Madonna’s Caligula-inspired halftime extravaganza: 10,245.

Compare that with past spikes. The Bin Laden raid topped out at 5,106 tweets per second and held steady at 4,000 sustained tweets. The MTV Video Music Awards topped out 2011 with 8,868. The biggest ever spike? the December 13, 2011 television broadcast in Japan of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated feature, Castle in the Sky, which got 25,088 per second

More interestingly, as Twitter continues to blow up during giant international news or pop culture events, TV viewership for the Super Bowl was stagnant. Super Bowl XLVI averaged a 47.8 overnight household rating/78 share on NBC, Variety reports. That’s slightly down from last year’s 47.9 rating, a tie for the best ever.

The numbers would seem to justify the new race to rule the second screen.

UPDATE: For the more detailed, complete picture of how the Super Bowl played out on social media, head over to Co.Create. 

[Top image: Flickr user tedkerwin]

About the author

Tyler Gray is the former Editorial Director of Fast Company and co-author of the book The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel and Buy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), out in fall 2014. He previously authored The Hit Charade for HarperCollins and has written for The New York Times, SPIN, Blender, Esquire, and others.