Like Germany’s national soccer team, Twitter entered the 2014 World Cup with the highest of expectations. Germany, extremely talented but searching for its first major title for 18 years, passed its test in the biggest way with a 1-0 victory over Argentina in Sunday’s championship match.
Twitter? Not too shabby either, although the game is far from over for the social media network.
Twitter put heavy emphasis on the World Cup, hoping that the world’s most popular sporting event would help it attract enough active user growth to meet Wall Street expectations.
It riddled the new user on-boarding process with prompts to follow players, teams, journalists and other soccer sources. It added “hashflags” icons to enable people to visually support their favorite national squads. It placed a persistent Explore the World Cup link on its mobile apps and Twitter.com and sent push notifications before all the games in the knockout stages to remind people to watch and tweet.
The pump priming seems to have been effective. Twitter reported that 672 million tweets related to the World Cup were sent during the 32-day tournament, a Twitter record for an event. Of course, comparing a monthlong event to the Super Bowl or Academy Awards isn’t instructive, but per-day activity was more than twice as high as the 2012 Olympics, which drew 150 million tweets over 16 days.
The New Tweet Per Minute Record Is 618,725
A better indication of conversation volume is that two games smashed the previous record of tweets — 24.9 million during the 2014 Super Bowl — for a one-day event. Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the semifinals drew 35.6 million tweets and the final drew 32.1 million. And activity during those games was intense, with five bursts surpassing the previous tweets-per-minute record of 360,000 (set during Miley Cyrus’ twerking MTV VMA Awards performance in 2013) by at least 137,000. The new record — 618,725 — came as the referee blew the final whistle on Germany’s final victory.