Twitter is a social networking site that allows users 140 characters to express whatever they wish to the public. The site live on March 21, 2006 and has grown exponentially over the past 9 years. When I first heard of Twitter in middle school I thought it was stupid and that it would never take off. My initial thought was that it was just a site filled with Facebook statuses and that concept seemed idiotic to me. Eventually my friends persuaded me to join Twitter and I gave in. The simplicity of Twitter took hold and I was hooked easily. Twitter has risen to become a behemoth in the social media sphere. There are 302 million active users and 500 million tweets sent per day.
One of the appeals of the site is being able to be apart of a trending conversation through your tweets and use of appropriate hashtags. An individual can see the trending hashtags of both the world (pictured below) and their closer geographical region, like San Francisco (pictured right).
Trends allow for users to easily become involved in the most popular twitter conversations. Many media and political events become the center of trending twitter hashtags. Some from the past include: #ReadyForHilary when Clinton announced her Presidential campaign, #WorldCup2014 during the FIFA World Cup in Rio, and more recently #PacquiaoMayweather which trended during the boxing match between Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao and Floyd “Money” Mayweather. This blog post will take a closer look at Twitter trends during the so-called “fight of the century” between Pacquiao and Mayweather.
On May 2, 2015 the “fight of the century” between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather was broadcast from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. There was a lot of hype leading up to the fight thanks to media publicity. Both fighters appeared on multiple talk shows to in the weeks preceding the fight. Their efforts proved fruitful because the event produced at least $400 million in revenue.
Both during and before the fight twitter exploded with trending tweets about the fight. The hashtags included: #PacquiaoMayweather, #MayPac, #Pacquiao, #Mayweather, and #PacMan among others. Floyd Mayweather ended up winning the fight unanimously but Pacquiao was the favorite online before the first bell, with 67% of tweeters tipping the Filipino to prevail via the hashtag #PacWins and #MayWins only getting 33% of the votes. The broadcast made a point to encourage viewers to actively participate in the Twitter conversation the whole fight.
There was a steady stream of tweets all night long but it spiked when Jamie Foxx sang the national anthem. Many users openly voiced their opinion on his performance through twitter. Tweets reflected what was currently happening on the broadcast because people were live tweeting their reactions.
People were not only live tweeting the event but also live streaming on Twitter’s new app Periscope. Periscope was released on March 25th of this year and allows Twitter users to live stream video to their followers. Users of the app were live streaming the fight much to the cable company’s displeasure. People who did not want to pay $100 for the fight turned to Periscope for a free show.
The tweets did not stop after the fight ended people continued to tweet for hours and even days afterward. Many people were opposed to the call the judges made about Mayweather being the victor and took to twitter to protest. Memes eventually formed from the fight and those began to trend on twitter as well.
In conclusion a big event, like the #PacquiaoMayweather fight, will always make a large impact on the social media landscape and Twitter is the perfect medium for this.
- He killed it… but not in a good way! Twitter users accuse Jamie Foxx of ‘destroying’ the National Anthem at Fight Of The Century, by Mailonline Reporter for Daily Mail, May 5, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3065875/Twitter-users-accuse-Jamie-Foxx-destroying-National-Anthem-Fight-Century.html
Mayweather-Pacquiao: Periscope ‘Won by Knockout’, by Arjun Kharpal for NBC News, May 10, 2015, http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/mayweather-pacquiao-periscope-won-knockout-n353201
- About twitter inc., by Twitter, May 10th, 2015, https://about.twitter.com/company
- 19 Funny twitter reactions to hilary clinton’s presidential announcement by Katie McGlynn for The Huffington Post, May 10, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/hillary-clinton-funny-tweets_n_7035396.html
- Mayweather conquers pacquiao on twitter too from Marca, May 10, 2015, http://www.marca.com/en/2015/05/03/en/more_sports/1430682391.html