Sunday, 24 February 2013

Tracking tweets from Vatican #Pope



Track tweets coming from the Vatican.  This will be Pope Benedict's last public appearance so it will be an interesting opportunity to see how a truly historic event will impact twitter usage in the area.  No Pope has resigned for centuries so this will be an extremely historic event, a Pope saying goodbye to a church of over one billion followers.

The election of a new Pope drove twitter levels very high as the first such event in the age of Twitter took place. 
After the Pope spoke tweeting reached about 200 geo-tagged tweets an hour.  
Tweeting peaked just around 60 geo-tagged tweets an hour within the Vatican before  the Pope spoke.

Observations:
  • Tweeting is elevated from the rest of Rome, but is not very high compared to events like the Oscars.  The Vatican though is a fairly small place.  During most of the service tweeting ran about 60 geo-tagged tweets an hour.  After the Pope gave his farewell speech tweeting is got up to about 120 geo-tagged tweets an hour.  Which is far lower than a major Spanish protest or the Oscars. But there was a clear surge after the Pope finished speaking.
  • About 50% of tweets are referencing the Pope explicitly in various language, which is very hight.   I rarely see an event mentioned by more than 1/3 tweets from a KM around an area.
  • As you might guess there are a lot of languages.
  • Very high retweeting, about half the geo-tagged tweets are in fact retweets of tweets coming from Vatican.  That is the event is being amplified. 
Compared to the Oscar the Pope's resignation is not a major Twitter event.  The Oscars saw tweeting rise in to the hundreds pre hour.



You can compare the tweeting from the Vatican compared to just outside to see the impact of the Pope's presence on Twitter.

You can use the tool below to see the tweets coming from the Vatican area right now:

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