It took the death of the leader of global terrorism, but a new Twitter record has been set.
Twitter has been a source of breaking news since its inception five years ago, and the social network was used at a high rate last night. Around 10:30 p.m., news started to leak out that the Al-Qaeda network's leader, Osama Bin Laden, the man behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, had been killed. Soon after, Twitter activity started to increase.
Last night saw the highest sustained rate of Tweets ever. From 10:45 p.m. to 2:20 a.m. ET, there was an average of 3,000 Tweets per second, the Twitter PR team tweeted.
It intensified around 11 p.m. ET when there were 5,106 tweets per second. When President Obama finished his remarks at 11:45 p.m. ET, there were 5,008 tweets per second.
Twitter is reportedly where the information on bin Laden's death first came to surface. Keith Urbahn, chief of staff for former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, tweeted, So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn. around 10:20 p.m. Ten minutes later, all of the major news networks reported it and Twitter began to take off.
Another source, Sohaib Athar, a 33-year-old software consultant living in Abbottabad, has become the guy the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without even knowing it.
The rush of information regarding the death of bin Laden actually caused a few media outlets to confuse Osama with Obama.