Creativity Marketing Transformation

Inauguration Traffic Brings Down Twitter for Several Hours


If you were hoping to tweet about the presidential inauguration on Monday, you might have been disappointed; Twitter crashed at around 3 p.m. for millions of users, according to the official Twitter Support feed. Some users were left without access for hours as inauguration traffic was too much for the Twitter servers to handle.

Twitter users still managed to tweet 1.1 million messages, according to @TwitterGovernment, reaching a day-long high of 27,795 tweets per minute at one point. That’s a serious boost from the 2009 inauguration, which only garnered around 82,000 tweets total. It’s clear that Twitter has become a viable news source for the general public and now acts as a heavy hitter when it comes to public opinion.

Some of President Obama’s inauguration speech was tweeted into short quotes from the Obama Inauguration Twitter feed. One of Obama’s most poignant moments, when he said, “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” was retweeted 700 times, further spreading the message.

Another hot topic for the Twitterverse? Sasha Obama’s yawn heard ’round the world. While her father expounded on the importance of beefing up education programs, the camera cut to Sasha as she yawned widely. The yawn was quickly made into a .gif and Twitter users commented on the sleepy–and adorable–moment caught forever on film and via tweets.

The huge growth that Twitter has seen in just the space of four years should give content marketers an idea of just how much of a force the microblogging social network really is. Twitter was nothing but a whisper four years ago, and the contrast between 2009 and 2013 is exceptional. When a president’s inauguration traffic can crash Twitter servers for a few hours, it might be time to think about what Twitter can do for content marketing campaigns. Whether a presidential inauguration or a new video campaign, Twitter has the ability to make any event go viral.

As long as its servers can keep up, of course.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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