In pictures: events that ‘moved the needle’

Social media is integral to today’s global mega-event experience. Here are some of the moments that set the Twittersphere alight

2014 World Cup Final

2014 World Cup Final
2014 World Cup Final

On 12 July 2014, football fans exploded onto Twitter in response to the World Cup Final, averaging an astonishing 618,725 TPM (tweets per minute) as Germany beat Argentina and became the new world champions. 672 million tweets were shared throughout the 2014 #WorldCup, with a 31.1 million tweeted during the #WorldCupFinal itself.

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014
Sochi Winter Olympics 2014

The Sochi Winter Olympics dominated online discussions in February 2014, causing ice hockey, curling and figure skating to rank as the three most mentioned sports on Twitter during the competition. Twitter users were at their most active during the USA victory over Russia in the men’s ice hockey shootout, producing 72,630 tweets every minute, and when Yuzuru Hanyu won gold for Japan in the men’s figure skating they shared 45,750 TPM.

Super bowl XLVIII

Super bowl XLVIII
Super bowl XLVIII

A massive 24.9 million tweets were generated by the Super Bowl contest between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos on 2 Feb 2014. Scoring only 8 points to the Seahawk’s 43, the Broncos sealed their fifth Super Bowl defeat while the Seahawk’s claimed their first Super Bowl victory. The most tweeted moment was Percy Harvin opening the 3rd quarter with an 87-yard kick-off return for a touchdown, racking up 381,605 TPM.

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon 2013

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon 2013
Andy Murray wins Wimbledon 2013

Wimbledon had gone without a British winner in the men’s singles for 77 years, until 7 July 2013, when Andy Murray continued a 17-game winning streak on grass by defeating Novak Djokovic in the final. Social media activity peaked at 120,000 TPM as Murray hit the winning shots, and in less than an hour his victory tweet was retweeted 77,000 times. Over the course of the tournament the Scottish player also enjoyed a boost of 20 per cent, adding more than 131,000 followers on the last day alone.

Red Bull Stratos Parachute Jump, 2012

Red Bull Stratos Parachute Jump, 2012
Red Bull Stratos Parachute Jump, 2012

A record 8 million-plus viewers watched Felix Baumgartner live on YouTube as he plummeted 24 miles from the stratosphere back to Earth, hitting speeds of up to 833.9mph (Mach 1.24). On the day he jumped, the mission’s dedicated Facebook page garnered 669,000 ‘likes’ while an image of Baumgartner landing safely received 466,000 ‘likes’, with 48,000 people sharing the post on their individual Facebook walls.

The Spice Girls Reunion at the London 2012 Closing Ceremony

The Spice Girls Reunion at the London 2012 Closing Ceremony
The Spice Girls Reunion at the London 2012 Closing Ceremony

With Usain Bolt’s 100m and 200m gold medal performances achieving more than 74,000 TPM and 80,000 TPM respectively, the 2012 Olympics received 150 million tweets in 16 days. Nevertheless, the most tweeted about event was not a gold medal, but the return of the Spice Girls. The British girl group’s one-off reunion performance at the Closing Ceremony in August caught fans off guard and provoked a staggering 116,000 TPM.