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Bin Laden's death sets Twitter record

John D. Sutter
People rushed to Twitter and other websites to discuss the news on Sunday of Osama bin Laden's death.
People rushed to Twitter and other websites to discuss the news on Sunday of Osama bin Laden's death.
  • Twitter users post more than 3,400 messages per second Sunday night
  • That's the highest rate of "sustained" tweeting ever, Twitter says
  • At peak, users posted more than 5,100 messages per second

(CNN) -- Online chatter about the death of Osama bin Laden was so intense on Sunday night that Twitter set a new record.

During President Barack Obama's address, Twitter users posted messages at an average rate of 3,440 tweets per second, according to the company's official public relations news feed.

"Last night saw the highest sustained rate of tweets ever. From 10:45 p.m. - 2:20 a.m. ET, there was an average of 3,000 tweets per second," the company wrote, before updating that number to 3,440.

It's unclear what events Sunday's news beat out to claim that record.

At the peak of this online conversation, Twitter users posted 5,106 tweets per second, according to the company.

The fastest rate of tweeting ever occurred on New Years Eve in Japan, when users posted 6,939 tweets per second, a measure of online conversation that Twitter refers to, in all seriousness, as "TPS."

"At 11 p.m. ET, there were 5,106 Tweets per second. At 11:45 p.m. ET, when Pres. Obama finished his remarks, there were 5,008 TPS," the company wrote.

Many people reported hearing about the news of bin Laden's death via social media sites and mobile gadgets. Alerts went off on iPads; Facebook friends shared the news; and some claim Twitter users "broke" the story.

Some of @CNNTech's Twitter followers remarked on this trend.

"I heard about it via twitter while in the middle of doing my podcast about video games-- needless to say it derailed the PSN (PlayStation Network) talk," one Twitter user wrote.

"I was going through airport security in LAS and was told by a TSA agent," said another. "I got on Twitter to confirm, during Obama's speech."

"Heard it on Twitter, where else ;)," wrote another.

And one more: "While watching a show on the Tivo, my son was checking twitter on his phone and told us to put on live TV."

I also asked my Facebook friends where they found out about bin Laden's death. Several of them wrote back saying some sort of gadget or social media site alerted them to the news.

"The same place I get most of my news at night and on the weekends...the facebook," one of my friends wrote.

Another said: "Saw a post on FB, verified it on NYT, and then yelled for my fiance to turn on the news."

And one more: "I saw comments on Facebook, and then read about it on my NPR News App on my phone, and then turned on the TV."

Feel free to share your stories in the comments section.

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