Did Michael Jackson’s Death Fuel June’s Twitter Growth?

Compete.com Reports Twitter.com Unique Visitor Growth in June 2009
Compete.com Reports Twitter.com Unique Visitor Growth in June 2009

Remember Twitter? It was growing by leaps and bounds earlier this year. In May, that growth flattened out. But now, according to Compete.com, Twitter is back in style for unique visitors. (Source)

Personally, I believe some of this growth can be attributed to Michael Jackson’s death. MJ’s death was the most viral social phenomenon we have ever seen. It was setting records for search on Yahoo, and Twitter also reported some amazing stats during the days after the King of Pop’s death. Would it make sense that more people flocked to Twitter for MJ news and messages? Did more people join Twitter just so they could be part of the circus that followed the death of arguably the most famous entertainer in the world? I think so, but I could be wrong. And I’m not saying that MJ’s death contributed to all of this growth, but I do think it’s a big factor in the growth. Just sayin’ is all…

Michael Jackson Death Sets Search Records on Yahoo

Yahoo’s Corporate Blog announced today that the passing of Michael Jackson led to some new records for Yahoo search (source). Without further ado, here are the main highlights of that post:

  • Yahoo’s front page story ‘Michael Jackson rushed to hospital” received 800,000 clicks within 10 minutes.
  • Yahoo’s news of his death received 560,000 clicks within 10 minutes.
  • The News area on the Yahoo homepage received 5 times the normal amount of traffic it usually gets
  • Yahoo News set a record with 16.4 million unique visitors (breaking the previous record of 15.1 million unique visitors on Election Day 2008)
  • 4 million people visited Yahoo between the hours of 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
  • Yahoo recorded 175 million page views for the day June 25th (placing 4th highest on the all-time behind Inauguration Day 2009, the day after Inauguration Day 2009, and Hurricane Ike)
  • In Yahoo Music, 21,000 people left comments on a blog post about Michael Jackson
  • On Flickr, 4,000 Michael Jackson-related pictures were uploaded

Also, according to Mashable.com, Michael Jackson’s death had a global impact on social media, specifically Twitter (source):

  • In total, at least 30% of Tweets are remarking upon the star’s tragic passing, and that’s likely an underestimate.
  • 22.61% of Tweets currently contain the phrase “Michael Jackson”.
  • 22.61% of Tweets currently contain the phrase “Michael Jackson”.
  • “MJ”, meanwhile, accounts for 9% of Tweets right now.

Granted, Michael Jackson was likely the most famous person in the world, but this event shows you the power of the internet and social media in regards to breaking news.