Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Newsflash! Big World Cup Game = Lots of Web Traffic, Twitter Fail Whales.

Of course Twitter failed during the U.S.-Algeria World Cup game yesterday. Twitter has been failing throughout the World Cup and does particularly badly when the U.S. plays. Not news.

But! To be fair! There were lots of people on the Web yesterday during the game.

How many? I haven’t seen a number yet. But Akamai (AKAM), which serves up Web pages to a good chunk of the globe, says yesterday’s game generated the most traffic it has seen during the tournament so far. Since the game was being played concurrently with the England-Slovenia match, that’s not a surprise either–the news would be if traffic didn’t peak because of the two games.

For the record, Akamai says traffic to the two dozen sites that make up its World Cup Index–sites that either stream the games or are affiliated with TV networks that air the games–climbed throughout the U.S. game.

At the traffic’s peak, after Landon Donovan’s goal, the index was recording 440,000 hits per second. Then it kept climbing: At 12:15 Eastern time, a good 20 minutes after the game ended, Akamai was recording 451,000 hits per second.

And now–sort-of informative graphs (click images to enlarge)!

Start of U.S.-Algeria game:

Near end of game:

Game over:

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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