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Baby bumps vs. Bin Laden: What are tweets worth?


"Twitter is the most important metric of attention."

If only Twitter had monetary value -- or does it?

Bin Laden's death racked up 5,106 tweets per second (TPS).

Japan's earthquake and tsunami: 5,530 TPS.

The royal wedding: 3,966 TPS.

Beyonce announcing her bun in the oven on the MTV VMAs? Hold the phone! No seriously, thousands of people were holding their phones and tweeting at mind-boggling rate of 8,868 TPS.  This pregnancy news smashed the previously held TPS record of 7,196 TPS from the FIFA Women's World Cup between Japan and the United States.

As the Gizmodo writer Mat Honan states:

Twitter is the most important metric of attention. It is not based on past behavior. It is equally capable of measuring scripted events, and the completely unexpected. And it is remarkable because it measures not just consumption, but also interest.


When Twitter measures tweets per second, it measures what people are interested in right now. It measures live attention. And that is very, very valuable.

Though tweets per second are a valuable unit of measure in their own right, here are just a few other considerations for the importance of these numbers:

  1. The audience using Twitter;
  2. How many people have Twitter available to them, can tweet instantaneously and therefore contribute to TPS; and
  3. If this reflects accurately on the majority of the population's interest and priorities

You may scoff at something like Beyonce's baby taking top seed for tweets per second, but it's only a matter of time before something new enraptures the Twittersphere.

Here's the video of Beyonce revealing her news with a bump rub, as reported by CBS News (and they mention Twitter):

h/t Techcrunch via Gizmodo

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