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Osama bin Laden’s Impact on the Web

May 3, 2011 7:39 AM | News

How much of an impact did the death of Osama bin Laden have on the Internet late Sunday and into Monday? Quite the impact according to those who monitor such things.

A record 12.4 million tweets were being sent per hour after the news of Osama bin Laden's death broke. (TWITTER)

A record 12.4 million tweets were sent following the news of bin Laden’s death. Before President Barack Obama’s speech at 10 p.m. CT, users were sending 5,106 tweets per second, according to Twitter. Following the president’s remarks, 5,008 tweets were being sent per second.

The numbers aren’t surprising considering news of bin Laden’s death first broke on Twitter, followed by traditional TV media picking up the story several minutes later.

Keith Urbahn, the former chief of staff for former U.S. defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, was credited with sending out the first tweet about bin Laden’s death.

“So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin (sic) Laden. Hot Damn.,” the tweet from @keithurbahn read.

As for the Internet as a whole, service providers were sluggish to keep up with the fast pace of events unfolding on what would usually be a low period for online use.

A graph shows the number of Internet page views on Sunday night and early Monday morning follow the news of Osama bin Laden's death. (AKAMAI)

According to Akamai’s Net Usage Index, 4.1 million page views were tracked at about 10:30 p.m. CT on Sunday. The numbers symbolize a 28% increase in North America traffic, and a 24% increase globally.