Twitter may be a source of real-time sharing and breaking news, but when it came to revealing engagement numbers for Super Bowl 50, the company took its time. Nearly 24 hours after the end of the game, Twitter reported, via a tweet, that its total audience was 4.3 billion views of Super Bowl-related tweets on and off the site.
The analysis included both pre- and post-game time and pulled from 27 million Super Bowl-related tweets that were shared on the network. Facebook announced Monday morning that the network had 65 million people sharing about the Super Bowl with 200 million posts, comments and likes.
Twitter pushed a view count, or impressions, for the first time for the Super Bowl. The change comes as the publicly traded company has failed to impress Wall Street with significant user growth. Currently, the stock is trading at record lows. Percentage of user growth every quarter year-over-year has been fairly stagnate. Facebook boasts 1.59 billion monthly active users, while Twitter last reported 320 million monthly active users.
— Twitter Data (@TwitterData) February 9, 2016
This year was not a record Super Bowl for Facebook, and it may not have been a record for Twitter. Last year, Twitter reported that more than 28 million tweets were sent about Super Bowl XLIX. This year, the data pulled from 27 million tweets, but it may have been from a different timeframe.
In comparison to other big events on Twitter, the Mayweather Pacquiao boxing match in May garnered 2.7 billion impressions. The Women's World Cup had 9 billion impressions over more than 30 days.
For the Super Bowl data, there is no easily accessible apples-to-apples comparison to make from year to year, and perhaps that’s how Twitter wants it to be. The social network has been working to retell the story of the value of the network and how it is viewed. Wall Street oftens compares Twitter’s success to Facebook, but with its real-time nature and less of an algorithm — at least for now — the network cannot easily boast as many engagement metrics.
And so, this year, the company reports views that can pull in from the embedded tweets people can see on news articles and other websites off Twitter. In October, Twitter announced that the network garners 1 billion views per month on embedded tweets on the web. “Twitter's larger than people think," product manager Michael Ducker told International Business Times at the time. "If Twitter's so small, how is it that the company has such influence?"
Twitter will report its fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday.