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October 06, 2011

iSad: Apple Founder Jobs' Death to Set Social Media Records

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

The passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs (News - Alert) has prompted an outpouring of sorrow around the globe with homage being paid to the tech giant’s iconic leader across popular social media sites – an event likely to break Twitter (News - Alert) records, according to media reports.

“Social media analysts said it was likely to break records for the most talked-about Internet event of all time, with monitoring agency SR7 estimating it had hit a massive 10,000 tweets per second and was likely to rise,” the AFP reported Thursday.

“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,” Peter Fraser, co-founder of Australian social media monitoring agency SR7 told AFP.

SR7 said that in order for this “world event” to be the most tweeted about issue to date, it needs to surpass the some 8,868 tweets per second after Beyonce announced her pregnancy on the MTV VMA red carpet.

Five of the top 10 topics trending worldwide on Twitter about the technology pioneer include #ThankYouSteve and #iSad. Two of Jobs’s catch phrases, “Think Different” and “Stay Hungry” were also top of the trends, “with the chatter so immense it caused Twitter to seize up, dispatching its famous “fail whale” to indicate a traffic jam,” the AFP said.

By comparison, SR7 named other massive online events, including Japan beating the U.S. in the women’s soccer World Cup finals in July (7,196 tweets per second), Osama bin Laden’s death (over 5,000 tweets/second), the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March (5,530 tweets/second) and the British royal wedding (3,966 tweets/second).

According to Twitter, across the whole of last year there was an average of 600 tweets a second, SR7 noted.  This growth is illustrated by comparing the number of tweets when Michael Jackson died in 2009 – 493 tweets per second, which was still enough to crash the service back then.

Jobs, the man best known for his prominent role as CEO of Apple (News - Alert), passed away at age 56 on Oct. 5, TMCnet reported. An official statement from the company’s board of directors was released stating:

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.”

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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