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Is Twitter Ready For Some Football?

Sunday’s Super Bowl is full of betting possibilities, but one line we couldn’t find in Vegas is whether or not Twitter will crash because of heavy traffic during the game.

This year’s NFL playoffs have already set one record for the most tweeted sports moment in history, when a Tim Tebow pass stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers on the first play of overtime against the Denver Broncos. The 9,420 tweets per second were not enough to cripple Twitter, but on New Year’s Eve in Japan 16,197 per second brought the service down. There is speculation that this year’s Super Bowl will set new records for both Facebook and Twitter.

We’ve asked Twitter if they’ve made an contingencies for Sunday’s game and will update as soon as we hear back from them. Such an incident doesn’t just affect users, but also loads of sports apps that let users track chatter about the game using Twitter’s API.

Most recent Twitter crashes have occurred as a result of a clearly-defined moment: midnight on New Year’s in a part of the world where Twitter is more popular than Facebook was a good candidate. For Twitter to crash on Sunday, we suspect there would have to be a key, game-shattering play like the Tebow pass. With even more people tuning into the game it would most certainly shatter that record, although it’s unclear whether it would be enough to bring the site down.

Super Bowl commercials aren’t likely to produce a Twitter-crashing moment, either, as most of the commercials have already been leaked online. So many surprises have already been given away already that today marked the first time since 1988 that USA Today did not publish a list of Super Bowl advertisers on the Friday before the game.


  • A close game will produce a moment that makes it into the Top 10 list of most tweeted events: most likely it’s a game-ending play or a referee’s announcement after video review of a disputed call.
  • That moment makes the Top 10 but does not cause Twitter to crash.
  • That moment doesn’t come close to breaking the all-time tweets-per-second record of 25,088 set in December when a popular anime film was shown on Japanese television.
  • And not that it has anything to do with tech or Twitter, or anything other than geographic bias, but the Patriots win a fourth Super Bowl with a 31-21 win.

Photo courtesy of ShutterStock


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