Sunday, March 17, 2013

Social Media and the Pope

Tweets about the papal election reached 15 billion views — more than twice the world’s total population, according to a story by the National Catholic Register. In addition, it was the first papal announcement spread via social media. Some interesting tidbits:
When Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis, the Twittersphere burst into a frenzy. Twitter reports that the March 13 announcement generated 130,000 tweets per minute and that it recorded at least 7 million tweets that day on the papal election — a record topped only by 20 million tweets generated over news of President Barack Obama’s re-election in November.

... According to Topsy, the United States and Argentina generated 22% and 19% percent of Twitter traffic over the Pope’s election. South-American countries (including Argentina) generated at least 41% of all related Twitter traffic.

Mentions of “Pope” on Facebook increased 10,000% in user statuses after the announcement of Francis’ election, according to Facebook. It reported the top two mentions worldwide that day were “Pope” and “Jorge Bergoglio,” followed by “Vatican,” “White smoke,” “Cardinal” and “Catholic.”
In addition, the papal twitter account @Pontifex has been brought back to life:
At 3:33 ET, the Pope made the announcement “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM” — a message that in all caps reflected the excitement of the digital and real worlds following the election. The message has been retweeted more than 82,000 times.
Read the whole article.

It was interesting see Anderson Cooper and reporters from every major news source in St. Peter's Square together with hundreds of thousands of people standing in the rain with their eyes glued to a small chimney waiting for smoke. And even today, approx. 150,000 people showed up in the cold for the weekly Angelus prayer with the new pope, Pope Francis.

1 comment:

mdial said...

As I wrote on the NCR, it would be better to use the term "impressions" rather than "views" for the Topsy number of 15 billion. The term impression is itself misleading in the best of circumstances as it refers to the total maximum potential of accounts who might view a tweet and, therefore, has nothing to do with reality since the number that actually viewed those tweets is infinitely smaller. Kind regards, Minter


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