Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

On Twitter, Even a New iPhone Can’t Keep Up With the World Cup

If you’re one of those weird people who delights in not following the World Cup, you’re going to want to stay off Twitter for the next month.

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the… uh… world. And Twitter has worldwide reach. So you can figure out where this is going, right?

Here’s the story in numbers, via Trendrr, which pulls data from Twitter’s API: Matches for 48 different World Cup-related terms are showing up about 150,000 times an hour.

That’s the same kind of intensity we saw Monday at Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 4 unveiling. But that traffic crested only in the last hour of Steve Jobs’s presentation. And this has been pretty steady all morning, since the South Africa-Mexico game kicked off the tournament, Trendrr says.

Here’s the traffic by minute. That first crazy spike, of more than 8,000 per minute (that’s a rate of 480,000 hourly), was prompted by the tournament’s first goal. (Click chart to enlarge.)

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik