Royal Wedding In Canada: Internet Eats Itself Into A Frenzy, Threatens To Explode
Written by: Carly Steven
This wasn’t avoidable. I’m one of those ‘hyperactive’ people indulging in a ‘two-screen experience’ of the royal wedding.
With the proliferation of devices for media consumption — think laptops, tablets and smartphones, in addition to TV sets — viewers are no longer consuming media on a single platform. Instead, they’re tweeting on their smartphones while viewing on a TV program, or a watching a second show on their tablets during a commercial.
Despite getting up just after 6am Canada time I actually missed the vows – not that I think I’m going to be able to escape it as it is repeated incessantly over the next few hours/days/weeks.
The options available for watching the event online are exhaustive; there’s the official YouTube ‘Royal Channel‘; CBS, MSNBC and CNN are all streaming it live; Fox News and ABC are using Hulu Live; AP and Entertainment Tonight are broadcasting via Livestream; and ITN and E!Online are streaming on Facebook. [Source Search Engine Journal].
Just watching the coverage on CBC now and apparently ‘the Brits have hired lip readers’ so that the ravenous public won’t be denied a single moment of Wills & Kate’s big day. One million people have turned out to watch the event in London.
Also just been informed that, because it’s not raining, the couple changed their original plan and went for the open carriage rather than a closed one. Apparently it’s the 1902 State Landau carriage that the Queen normally uses for official visits. And Kate is wearing a satin Alexander McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton and a 1936 tiara by Cartier.
***Crikey, my computer just got so over-excited it crashed!***
Google has obviously got in on the act with a special Royal Wedding doodle. And up until it all kicked off this morning (and you can still see it now), if you searched for ‘royal wedding’ you would see a special box linking to the Royal Wedding YouTube channel and telling you when the event was happening in your location and time zone. [Thanks to Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land for noticing that].
In terms of official Twitter coverage, Search Engine Journal has a decent summary:
Are you a tweet-a-holic? No doubt, Twitter will be flooded with posts about #rw2011 – the official hashtag of the event. Meanwhile, #RoyalWedding is likely to see plenty of hits, and the ABC-invented #RoyalSuccess and #RoyalMess will help people get a narrower view of the goings-on. Additionally, there are a few dedicated channels for event tweets, including:
- @clarencehouse (the official source from the royal family)
- @royalwedding (run by the Today Show)Further, individual anchors and news sources are sure to post their own insights:And don’t forget to pay attention to @kate_middleton (we’re pretty sure it’s the legit Princess Kate, but no one seems to have the official verification). Prince William, sadly, officially has no Twitter account.
In terms of the social media mayhem ignited by the royal nuptials, a post from Mashable a few hours before the ceremony, quotes the following statistics from web analytics firm Webtrends:
…people have sent 911,000 tweets in the last 30 days, or just a little more than 30,000 tweets per day, which accounts for 71% of the buzz Webtrends tracked. For comparison, there were approximately 217,000 Facebook status updates and 145,000 blog posts about William and Kate’s big day.
And while you may think most of the social buzz surrounding the royal nuptials is coming from the UK, think again. Webtrends says that a whopping 65% of tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates are coming from the U.S., while 20% are coming from the UK. Canada is in third place with a mere 2.6% of social media buzz. This matches stats from Nielsen, which also says that the U.S. is the #1 source of Royal Wedding chatter.
Just heard on CBC there have been 2.5 million tweets.
Jon Slattery notes on his blog that the Financial Times is the only British newspaper not to splash with Will & Kate’s big day.
The Independent, which has traditionally played down royal coverage, carries pictures of the build-up to the wedding celebrations on its front page – although it does say in the bottom right corner: “Not interested in the Royal Wedding? Turn now to page six.”
The Guardian also splashes on the royal wedding but says in a leader: “For most of us this is a day off..not a day for tugging of forelocks.”
Online the Guardian has it both ways with readers being able to select different reports on the wedding by clicking a box for “royalists”or “republicans”.
It’s all over now. We’ve just had The Balcony Scene and the great RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly-pass. But the bit that got everyone excited again and has sent Twitter into a paroxysm of ecstasy was The Kiss. CBC is reporting an official kiss count of three.
And of course both Google and Twitter trends have been flooded with Royal Wedding-related keywords.
According to Shane Richmond at the Telegraph:
On Facebook the wedding was dominating status updates, with around 74 mentions every second.
Despite twitter being caricatured in some quarters as a bastion of liberalism, the hashtag “proudtobebritish” slowly rose up the list of trending topics throughout the day.
Over on Mashable, the screenshot of worldwide Twitter trends at 6.40am ET looks fairly similar but with a few variations, elucidated as follows:
#casamentoreal” and “abadia” mean “#royalwedding” and “abbey,” respectively, in Spanish. QILF is a play off the acronym “MILF,” where “mother” is replaced with “queen.” Sarah Burton, number six, is the designer of Kate’s dress, and the creative director of British lable Alexander McQueen. Grace Kelly as Kate’s dress and look were likened to the actress, who married the Prince of Monaco in April 1956. Number nine, Rutter, refers to John Milford Rutter, who composed the anthem played during the wedding.
Mashable is also reporting that streaming of the Royal Wedding has broken all previous records for concurrent views on Livestream. At 6am ET this morning the company claimed to have passed 300,000 viewers for its Wills & Kate wedding coverage and is expecting to hit 2 million by the time the broadcast comes to an end.
Akamai reports that the event broke broader live streaming records as well. A representative for the company — whose network hosts some of the web’s largest news sites — reports that “concurrent live streams of Royal Wedding on Akamai surpassed the 1.6M peak set by World Cup in June of 2010.”
However, the event does not appear to be the biggest news event in web history. While the 4.6 million page views per minute reported on Akamai’s network this morning surpass the total for Barack Obama’s presidential election victory, they fall well short of the 10.3 million page views per minute record set last June when a World Cup qualifying match and the longest Wimbledon match in history took place simultaneously.
It was popular enough, however, to bring down the BBC website which crashed this morning under the weight of extra traffic. A bit embarrassing considering a visitor surge should hardly have been unexpected. Even accident-prone Twitter hasn’t fallen over yet.
Best bit? As Boing Boing pointed out, it has to be 3-year-old Grace van Custem who had clearly ‘had enough of all this bullshit’.