Just how breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly awesome was Landon Donovan's 91st-minute goal in today's win-or-go-home U.S.-Algeria World Cup game? It was definitely significant enough to temporarily overwhelm Twitter. And it just might have been the single biggest driver of Internet traffic ever.
Over at Mashable the editors were monitoring new traffic across the Web via Akamai's Net Usage Index, a traffic meter that keeps real time tabs on how many visitors per minute are landing on more than 100 major news sites. In the minutes after Donovan's game-clinching, elimination-defying goal during added stoppage time, Web traffic spiked to 11.2 million visitors per minute, eclipsing even the 2008 U.S. presidential election as measured by the viewers per minute metric.
Of course, Donovan can't take all the credit. Elsewhere in South Africa England and Slovenia were wrapping up a similarly tense match, and all that breaking news hitting the wire at once likely contributed to the spike, which reportedly threw Yahoo Sports out of sorts for several minutes and also caused some Twitter issues (what doesn't these days?).
The all-time news traffic record was set on the first day of World Cup play at 12 million visitors per minute, but apparently Akamai's final numbers aren't in yet on today's action. That means today's post-game spike could be the biggest ever or it could remain the second biggest traffic uptick in history. But it also means that as the World Cup moves into more and more meaningful games, we may see the record eclipsed again and again. Somebody better tell the IT guys over Yahoo to cancel their weekend plans.
[Mashable, homepage photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty]
What is with this World Cup? Why is this one so much more popular than the last few?
The US is good following a second place finish in the Confederation Cup by one goal under Brazil just last year. I know that's what got me hyped up. Plus the gift goal and botched call got people emotionally invested. Exciting stuff!
Everyone I've met in college seems to be a soccer fan, and my friends managed to make a fan out of me this year. And even though I'm a recent convert, it's a very dramatic year, and a good time to come into soccer (or football (or futbol)).
Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!!! i have being a soccer player all my life so im glad to see that the sport is grabbing more interest in the usa. im from Mexico and Portugal and it is not just another sport back there, it is part of our culture.
i'm one of the people who never really paid attention to soccer before this world cup, but i've become an avid fan over the past week. i really hope the interest keeps after the world cup is over. i'm not sure what it is, but there is something about this world cup thats really gained traction in America, Donovan's goal yesterday sealed the deal i think. no one can say "soccer is boring" after that.
and like John Stewart said last night, "If the USA wins the World Cup, the rest of the world has to start calling the game Soccer."
While I do love your headline, I feel like I should point out that there are 32 teams playing 64 games in this World Cup, and the US's near-draw is hardly one of the highlights - it wasn't even the most interesting fixture <i>that day</i>. Pleased the World Cup seems to be taking off in the States, but a bit of perspective, perhaps?
@majohns: First off, what fixture was more interesting that day than the US team winning in the 92nd minute - after having a goal rescinded to take the group and advance? Just because there are 31 other teams playing doesn't discount the <em>global</em> headlines that their matches against both England and Slovenia, and finally Algeria made. Your comment actually leads one to believe that you're watching a completely different tournament.
And the spike was largest in North America, and it was a window of a few minutes after the event....
The point isn't the newsworthiness. It's just the fact that it got the web traffic it did.
I really don't know what it is with the World Cup this year: all I can see here in Budapest is that all the pubs are full packed around the city center and in general everywhere around the city with people watching the screens like zombies. It seems pretty much that the situation in Central Europe is very similar to the situation in the States.
Visit Budapest: http://www.guide-budapest.com/budapest.html