They let their fingers do the talking. They did it while Beyonce mesmerized the audience during halftime at the Super Bowl. They did it during the blackout at the Superdome. Users of social media - mostly on mobile devices - generated a record-setting number of posts, "likes," check-ins, mentions and comments about the big game, say two firms that monitor social-media activity.
Social-media interactions on Sunday night set a record for a Super Bowl - and for any major televised event, according to New York-based Trendrr, which followed social-media activity related to the big game on Twitter, public Facebook profiles and the social applications GetGlue and Viggle.
In all, there were 47.67 million instances of social-media engagement during the game between the winning Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, Trendrr reports.
Last year, the Super Bowl scored 17.4 million interactions on social media vs. 3.1 million in 2011, according to Trendrr.
Even other major events pale compared to Sunday night. The April 2011 royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton racked up 5.6 million instances of social-media activity, while last year's Grammy Awards generated 17.1 million, according to Trendrr.
Bluefin Labs, a firm in Cambridge, Mass., that analyzes social media related to TV, also reports the game was at the center of a record. The company counted 30.6 million social-media comments related to the game - 27.7 million via Twitter and 2.8 million on Facebook.
The firm says that compares with 28.3 million comments for election night coverage in November, 13 million comments for the 2012 Grammy Awards, 12.8 million comments for the MTV Video Music Awards and 12.2 million for the second presidential debate last year.
Most of the engagement happened via mobile, according to Trendrr numbers. People shared mostly by iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets. Overall, mobile communication accounted for 88 percent of the stream of chatter, up from 67 percent last year, Trendrr says. And though neither New York nor Los Angeles played in or hosted the Super Bowl - which took place in New Orleans - both cities led in the amount of social-media activity, Trendrr reports. They were followed by Baltimore and the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose region, according to Trendrr.
All that traffic hinted at a likely win for the Ravens even before the team claimed victory.
The volume of social-media posts involving the Ravens was about 3.7 million, while the 49ers generated about 3.1 million, according to Crimson Hexagon, a Boston-based firm that analyzes social media.
The Ravens also generated more positive comments on Twitter than the 49ers. And tweets about Ray Lewis, the Baltimore linebacker who played his last game Sunday night, totaled about 1.2 million, or about a third as many as the team generated overall.
Broken down, 61 percent of posts about the 49ers were enthusiastic compared with 90 percent of posts about the Ravens, Crimson Hexagon says.
Of the comments about Lewis, 67 percent were positive. Those focused on his character, talent and/or career. Another 32 percent were negative, and some of those focused on his guilty plea for obstruction of justice in the 2000 murders of two men.
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