On Sunday, the end of the Women’s World Cup final between USA and Japan set a new world record for most tweets sent per second (TPS) at 7,196, as Emily Banks from Mashable reports. The end of yesterday’s Copa America game between Brazil and Paraguay came in 2nd, at 7,166 tweets per second. The Women’s World Cup shattered the tweeting records that were established by the Men’s World Cup a year ago, when the maximum amount of TPS was 3,283. With Twitter becoming more popular by the day, it makes sense that new records would continue to be set. And with Japan prevailing over the United States in a dramatic game, the urge to tweet was all the greater. (Quick tangent: It’s kind of a bummer to be rooting for the ‘bad guys’ in a premise for a sports movie. The Japanese team was representing a country devastated by an earthquake and tsunami, had captured its country’s heart, and managed to hang in with their more successful, storied, and experienced opponent. With two dramatic late goals and a victory in penalty kicks, they pulled off an incredible upset. And yet, of course I was rooting for the USA. If the roles were reversed, Kevin Costner would be getting a call for a movie. Even though every part would be played by a woman, they’d find something for ol’ Kevin.)
The Twitter Effect
With another broken record for volume of tweets, Twitter has established relevancy as an integral part of people’s lives. It’s the place for everyone to go for a reaction and it has truly changed the world. But what things stand to benefit? Which types of events get a boost due to Twitter, and which do not?
Live Sporting Events
This is one of the first places where Twitter is beneficial. Almost all major sporting events have a few trending topics on Twitter as they unfold and the interaction between fellow fans has driven that traffic. Having a worldwide community in your living room gives the experience of watching something as it happens a boost. Twitter Impact: Positive
This is another big one. Almost all awards shows’ ratings* have gone up in the past few years, and Twitter deserves credit. It seems that whenever there’s a show, there’s something to make fun of. It could be a dress, a lame monologue, a bad acceptance speech, or an unfortunate use of profanity. Everyone has an inner jokester within them and Twitter holds appeal as a place to make the snarky jokes that we all used to just make with our buddies. Twitter Impact: Very Positive
*I apologize for linking to Perez Hilton. My bad, America.
Since first-run movies are seen in a theater and not in homes, it’s tough to use Twitter to communicate about it, unless you’re prepared to get stared at by annoyed moviegoers. It’s one medium where social communication has little use. Twitter Impact: None
Concerts and Music
The experience of seeing a band live is already a social one with lots of other people, so being able to share it isn’t as big a deal. It’s pretty rare to see any kind of performer trending unless they’re on TV at that moment. Twitter just isn’t the place for musicians to prosper. Twitter Impact: Slightly Negative
Amazingly, the Mecca of televised wrestling gets quite a big bump up from Twitter. With its global fan base and weekly televised live events, wrestling-related items are often trending. After Sunday night’s major Pay-Per-View, in which wrestler CM Punk won the WWE championship and left the WWE afterwards, at least four WWE-related keywords trended worldwide. The ability to communicate during a live event on TV is once again big here. Twitter Impact: Very Positive
Scripted TV Shows
With all of the love that live TV gets on Twitter, something is bound to suffer. TV shows tend not to trend on Twitter, since people rarely comment on them until they’re over. Making a comment in the middle of one would result in missing something that might be important. Since the DVR has come into prominence, people watch scripted TV at random times throughout the day, making commenting awkward. Plus, in our increasingly spoiler-free pop culture society, people are afraid of ruining shows for their friends by talking about them. It all makes scripted TV a victim of the Twitter generation. Twitter Impact: Very Negative
Reality TV Shows
There are two types of reality shows: Live performance shows and everything else. The performance shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars get a huge boost because as we’ve established, live TV does extremely well. The person who was kicked off American Idol trended immediately afterwards this past season nearly every week. As for the others? Well, everybody loves making fun of Snooki. It might become our 5th national sport. Twitter Impact: Positive
Twitter’s impact on the world around us is big. Women’s soccer doesn’t exactly have a huge group of fans in the United States, but being able to communicate with other Americans in cheering for our country was appealing to many. As Twitter continues to grow, records will continue to be broken. Some things may benefit and some may suffer from it, but the world is in on the conversation.