Tweeting Bin Laden Demise; Social Networking at its Zenith

May 2, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

We needn’t tell you that Osama Bin Laden is history now. What followed then revealed to us the effect social networking sites have on media and news. Twitter is proud that they were the first to spread the intelligence. The news of Osama’s death had spread all through the network, way before the U.S president made a formal announcement. More amusing is the way a tweeter from Pakistan – Sohaib Athar – became famous with just one tweet, “Helicopter hovering above Abottabad at 1 am (is a rare event)”.Sohaib kept on tweeting all the micro details and enjoyed his one day fame. In a posting at 10:25 pm EST on Sunday evening, Urbahn wrote, “So, I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn!” and tweets spreadlike wildfire.

President Barack Obama confirmed at around 11pm EST that a small team of U.S military members tracked the mastermind of the Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks down to a small compound in Pakistan, where they killed him during a gun battle. More than 4,000 tweets per second were sent at the start and end of his speech. The situation saw Twitter covering the whole of the epoch-making story, just like a news channel would do.

Even amazing is the way Twitter Search registered the development. A one in ten searches for the Royal Wedding on Friday was what they had recorded. However, today one in every five Twitter search was about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

The peak was not only seen on Twitter. Google also saw a staggering rate of related searches and there are no signs of this dying down any time soon. This shows the level to which social networking sites play a part in the things that are connected with society.

When many rejoice over the death of the Al Qaida leader, the networking sites are filled with mystery as many skeptics find it difficult to believe it. As a matter of fact, reports affirming Osama Bin Laden’s death have been out few times before too, but never in this intensity and never supported with these many evidence.

Man, it’s the age of social media finally!

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