Syfy’s #Sharknado Racks Up Impressive Tweets Per Minute

Was it the biggest thing to ever hit Twitter? Nope, as it turns out. But Sharknado – the TV movie from Syfy that has killer sharks raining down on Los Angeles out of tornadoes — was still a huge hit according to Twitter, drawing in tweets at about one-quarter of Super Bowl levels.

My feed certainly exploded, echoing what I was also hearing from others that I follow:


It seemed as if everyone I knew was watching the show. Sharknado seemed to be ubiquitous. Even Mia Farrow was tweeting about it:

Variety compiled a list of other celebrities gripped by Sharknado-mania.

And relax, Newark. Your mayor Cory Booker says there’s an action plan in place, in case Sharknado heads to the East Coast:

Did it trend? It did on Google:

But on Twitter, it didn’t make the US trend chart:

Twitter also shared these official stats:

To put this in perspective, at its peak, #sharknado was doing 5,032 tweets per minutes, which is about 84 tweets per second. That is nowhere near record levels, which tend to be at the 7,000 to 9,000 TPS level. But the official Twitter Data folks, when I checked with them, said that 5,000 TPM is very high:

Indeed, from Twitter’s post about tweets per minute, the 2013 Super Bowl peaked around 22,000 TPM, just over 1/4 of the Sharknado level. The Super Bowl was more typically in the 4,000 to 8,000 TPM range. Sharknado was in the 1,000 to 2,000 level, again, about 1/4 of the Super Bowl. For a strange TV movie on a cable channel, I’ll count that as pretty impressive.

For those who missed the event, relax. Syfy is sure to repeat it forever. Here’s a trailer:

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s a quick clip of what the Sharknado looks like:

And for those who missed it, Timothy Burke made an incredible animated GIF of the big conclusion. Here’s a single frame:


Now go see the whole thing here.

Related Topics: Social Media Marketing: Hashtags | Top News | Twitter


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Ash

    Here is what I think is key to this event. Yes, SyFy will re-air the movie forever, but anyone watching it in the future will not have the same communal experience that happened during the premier. That kind of explosive online interaction during an event is what creates must-see-TV in the age of DVR’s and Netflix. Never again will so many people watch this awful movie at the same time, and that’s what makes it special.

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