Since my new apartment is still woefully unconnected to the Internet, yesterday I was working from a bar that happened to be showing the World Cup match between Germany and Brazil. “Great,” I thought, “I can catch a few seconds of the game whenever I look up, should be interesting.” Little did I know that the game would be insane within the first twenty minutes, forcing me to put work aside and commit pretty fully to what became a 7-1 blowout in Germany’s favor.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one swept up by the FIFA action: according to a report on the Hollywood Reporter, the match set a record on Twitter, resulting in 35.6 million tweets during the match. The report goes on to explain that “social media activity peaked with a record 580,166 tweets per minute.” By comparison, the most recent Super Bowl – also a ridiculous blowout that shocked its watchers – enjoyed 381,605 tweets per minute at its peak.
That’s not all: apparently that much Twitter activity made the World Cup match between Germany and Brazil the “most-discussed single sports game ever on Twitter,” a declaration provided by Twitter itself, says the post. The fact that the World Cup would generate a lot of interest shouldn’t be that surprising, considering the fact that the FIFA tournament has the word “World” in it. As such, you’ll have that many more users around the globe interested in sounding off on what’s happening.
However, the Olympics, too, are a global affair, and also come around once every four years. Why don’t the Olympic Games get this kind of attention on Twitter? Is the feeling of specialness blunted by the fact that we get alternating winter and summer games every two years? Might it be the fact that Twitter is only gaining in users each year, and soon we’ll see more Olympic-based record-breaking?
Maybe, though, there’s something that much more exciting and interesting about the World Cup – which has been breaking new media records lately – and specifically this game, that inspired so many people to go to Twitter to express their disbelief. The game itself is an anomaly, featuring the worst loss ever suffered by a host country. When you couple that with the months of news leading up to the tournament about the outcry from Brazil’s citizenry about the wasteful spending the World Cup brought to their nation, and you’ve got one of the most memorable match’s in FIFA history.
Will the semi-final match between the Netherlands and Argentina today bring similar Twitter results? Will the finals? Or was this game the game?