The highlight of the 2014 Oscar telecast was not who won, what anyone wore or any particular musical number or tribute. In perfect early-days 21st century fashion, it was a selfie and a Twitter crash that everyone is talking about the morning after (well, that and a “How Would John Travolta Mangle Your Name” generator).
About midway through the nearly endless broadcast, host Ellen DeGeneres “spontaneously” gathered a Hollywood A-list dream team about her to snap a selfie with a Galaxy Note mini-tablet (the show’s official sponsor; according to Mashable, however, DeGeneres used her iPhone to snap other photos and deliver a few live tweets throughout the night). DeGeneres’ gag was that this particular selfie would break previous retweet records and crash Twitter.
It did indeed. Within two hours, the photo was retweeted some 2 million times. Which not only broke the previous retweet record held by no other than President Barack Obama celebrating his re-election in 2012, it also broke Twitter.
Said DeGeneres later in the show, “We got an email from Twitter and we crashed and broke Twitter. We have made history.”
Twitter reported a service outage about four minutes after the original tweet, which was not helped by those of us who had snapped our own photos of the moment as it took place on our big screens, and quickly posted those to Twitter, causing a virtual online 50-car pileup. Unlike a real traffic jam, however, the Twitter-jam was cleared within minutes.
Which brings up the next question on everyone’s minds. Was the actual crash of a social network in some way a great plug for the service? (If so many people are on Twitter, then why aren’t I? Twitter has been struggling with adding significant numbers of new users for some time, which of course affects its stock price.)
Oh, and yes, one other question might actually get more tweets if put to the test. Will Ellen DeGeneres be back to host the Oscars next year?
Image by KazzaDrask Media.