For a long time yesterday, I couldn’t see any tweet in my regular feed that wasn’t in some way linked to the Germany/Brazil semifinal World Cup match – and apparently, I wasn’t alone. The devastating 7-1 victory by Germany was the most activity around a single sports game on Twitter ever (via THR), surpassing the Super Bowl from earlier this year.
Brazil’s routing garnered 35.6 million tweets during the game itself, and at peak volume, 580,166 people were tweeting about it at the same time. That compares to 24.9 million tweets during the Super Bowl, with a max frequency of 381,605 tweets per minute. The trouncing easily beat the next-most popular World Cup game on Twitter, which was the Brazil/Chile match from the earlier round of 16, with only 16.4 million tweets posted during the match.
As for the top moments during the game, the 5-0 score by Sami Khedira managed that chart-topping 580,166 tweets per second, while the 4-0 and 3-0 goals followed by a few thousand fewer tweets per second each. Clearly after that, users of the social network had mostly exhausted their deep reserves of Brazilian wax jokes.
Twitter’s fervent bouts of activity around crushing collapses fraught with emotion are not surprising: The social network isn’t quite a news network, but it floats on the same ocean. But the World Cup match yesterday was like a perfect storm upon that ocean, which only the Twitter craft was equipped to navigate – a real-time blow-by-blow, pithy jokes, puns and screencaps of crying fans were the requisite ingredients.
What that says about Twitter and its ability to capitalize on things like this to propel it to greater success isn’t necessarily groundbreaking for its strategy. Effectively, the company is best served by being ready for events that no one could reasonably predict, but that means at least that it can focus on product updates that make sharing in Schadenfreude as easy and effective as possible.