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Osama bin Laden's death sets Twitter record for 'sustained rate of Tweets' [Updated]

May 2, 2011 | 12:22 pm

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Twitter users set a record for the "highest sustained rate of Tweets ever" as news of Osama bin Laden's death spread across the social network Sunday night.

"Last night saw the highest sustained rate of Tweets ever," Twitter's public relations department said in a Twitter message on Monday. "From 10:45 - 2:20am ET, there was an average of 3,000 Tweets per second."

Sunday's biggest traffic spike for the micro-blogging site came as President Obama announced that the U.S. had killed the leader of Al Qaeda, the group responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"At 11 p.m. ET, there were 5,106 Tweets per second," Twitter said in another message. "At 11:45p.m. ET, when Pres. Obama finished his remarks, there were 5,008 TPS," (TPS standing for tweets per second).

[Updated 4:42 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that the rate of about 5,000 tweets per second between the beginning and end of President Obama's speech Sunday night on Bin Laden's death was a new record highest number for that rate.

In fact, the tweets per second seen during Obama's speech on Sunday was the third highest number of tweets per second, Twitter spokesman Matt Graves said in an email.

What was higher? The March 11 strike of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan brought in more tweets per second, surpassing 5,000 tweets-per-second five times that day, with a high of 5,530 tweets-per-second, Graves said.

"The record for TPS remains the most recent New Year’s Eve, when users in Japan sent 6,939 Tweets per second," he said.]

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On Facebook, celebration and accusation over Osama bin Laden's death

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: President Barack Obama announces at the White House that the U.S. has killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Credit: Chris Kleponis / AFP / Getty Images

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