Twitter Traffic Spikes on News About Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s tragic death of an apparent heart attack yesterday attracted a tremendous amount of attention from the mainstream media and bloggers from around the world. More than 25% of all Tweets posted yesterday evening around 7 p.m. were about about Jackson’s death.

Many Web sites and blogs crashed after being inundated with visitors looking for the latest updates about Jackson as reports started to circulate he had been found not breathing by paramedics at a home in Los Angeles.

To get a better sense of the social media activity over the past 24 hours, we used our MAP tool to conduct an analysis. Here are some of our findings:

In looking at Twitter for mentions of Michael Jackson, activity peaked with 25% of all Tweets happening at about 7 p.m. (EST), as reports were confirmed that Jackson had died.


More than half of the blog posts about Jackson were done by people in the 21-to-35-years-old demographic, while nearly 25% were written by people under the age of 20.

In some respects, this is interesting because people who are now 35-years-old would have only been 11-years-old when Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” album was released in 1984. (Here’s the “Thriller” video).

Michael Jackson
Given Jackson’s stature as a global celebrity and pop music superstar, blog coverage came from around the world. The most coverage was from the U.S. (21.1%), followed by Germany (8.6%), the U.K. (7.1%), the Netherlands (5.3%), Brazil and France (4.4%) and Malaysia (3.9%)

World Chart
In terms of the major conversations, the most active keyword was “cardiac” in relation to Jackson’s reported heart attack. There were also strong associations with “tributes”, “pop”, “UCLA” (hospital, UCLA Medical Center, where Jackson was taken yesterday afternoon by paramedics).

Among the more interesting stories and blog posts about Jackson’s death are a report that his family and friends were concerned about Jackson’s use of prescription drugs to recover from dance-related injuries as he prepared for a sold-out 50-concert comeback in London.

Time Magazine, meanwhile, has a story looking at the “Top 10 Michael Jackson Moments”