THE DEATH of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has sparked the biggest online reaction of any event in recent history with Twitter figures in the region of 10,000 tweets per second.
The phenomenal response eclipses the previous biggest event, Beyonce's performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, where it was revealed that she was pregnant, which generated a record 8,868 tweets per second.
Other huge online events include Japan beating USA in the women's soccer World Cup finals in July (7,196 tweets per second), Osama bin Laden's death (over 5,000 tweets/second), the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March (5,530 tweets/second) and the British royal wedding (3,966 tweets/second).
Across the whole of last year there were an average of 600 tweets a second, Twitter says.
"It is vital to contextualise how much of an increase there has been in Twitter usage since 2007," social media monitoring firm SR7 partner James Griffin told the Sydney Morning Herald today.
"Twitter data shows that in 2007 global usage was at 5,000 tweets per day - it is incredible to now see over 5,000 tweets per second in times of significant international events."
This growth is illustrated by comparing the number of tweets when Michael Jackson died in 2009 - 493 tweets per second, which was still enough to crash the service back then
A new ‘Remembering Steve Jobs’ page has been added to the Apple website, along with an e-mail address for those who want to share messages.
“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being,” according to the memorial page.
“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.”