Twitter: Olympics opening ceremony saw 9.66 million mentions

Talk of the London 2012 Olympic Games was expected to take over Twitter, and its community of 140 million active users worldwide didn’t disappoint.

On Friday, Twitter saw more tweets in a single day than it saw during the whole duration of the Beijing 2008 Olympics, according to a blog post by the microblogging service.

In 2008, the average number of tweets stood at around 300,000 per day. That number has grown dramatically ever since, and on Friday 9.66 million mentions of the opening ceremony made on Twitter between 8.00 p.m. U.K. time through to the end of the delayed U.S. broadcast, which started more than three hours later.

Many of the tweets discussed NBC’s decision to delay broadcasting the ceremony in order to fit in with its prime-time coverage. While NBC itself took to Twitter to live-tweet the opening of the Games as it happened, many individuals used the service to post criticism of the U.S. broadcaster, while others tweeted links to unauthorised live streams of the ceremony.

Twitter didn’t reveal any details of which element of the extravaganza provoked its highest traffic spike, but did note that a tweet by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee was retweeted more than 10,000 times.

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