The Super Bowl, as a cultural icon, makes a great barometer to use to measure the growth of other cultural phenomenon. This is as true of social media as anything else. The growth of social TV and the 2nd screen phenomenon (using social media while watching TV programs) can be seen in comparing social media usage during this year’s Super Bowl with the previous year. 

Starting with Twitter, Gigaom reports that the number of tweets almost doubled, from 13.7 million Super Bowl-related tweets in 2012 to 24.1 million this year. Of course, the number was likely distorted somewhat by the power outage early in the second half. In fact, Twitter’s own stats on peak usage during the game show that the power outage was #1:
·         Power outage: 231,500 TPM (tweets per minute)
·         108-yard kickoff return for Ravens TD by Jones: 185,000 TPM
·         Clock expires; Ravens win: 183,000 TPM
·         Jones 56 yard TD pass for the Ravens: 168,000 TPM
·         Gore TD for 49ers: 131,000 TPM
Beyonce’s halftime show, not being a part of the game itself, was treated a separate event. But it was a big one. Mashable tracked social media stats for all the major services. In fact, Beyonce’s show received more TPM than any of the game’s events, according to Forbes. Forbes also noted that more women than men tweeted during the game.
A company called MarketingLand had a unique take on the Super Bowl and social media usage. They tracked the number of TV ads during the Super Bowl that mentioned Twitter, Facebook and other services. Their conclusion is that Twitter was the overwhelming winner, having been mentioned in half of all the CBS network ads during the game. See how the other services fared here.
Finally, what about the power outage? Digital Media Wire reports that AT&T said that the power outage created a record surge in data usage by fans at the game. AT&T customers at the Superdome used 78 gigabytes of data in an hour’s time covering the blackout. Much of that activity was posting to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

– Pat Welsh