This is being hailed as the first true internet inauguration. Internet traffic is said to have spiked to levels 54 per cent above normal worldwide, and as much as 60 per cent higher in North America.
Particularly noteworthy is the flurry of activity on social media networking sites. CNN tied up with Facebook for the event, providing a facility for viewers of its online video coverage to see which of their Facebook buddies were watching, and share their reactions.
CNN says nearly 14 million people tuned in, topping its previous record of over 5 million for election night in November. Around 4000 Facebook users updated every minute, a total of 1.5 million status updates through the CNN portal alone.
President Obama’s official Facebook page was deluged with visitors, and his MySpace page now features more than one million “friends.” Some 40,000 photos of the inauguration were posted to Flickr, and Twitter said activity jumped five-fold.
All in all, it’s an excellent indication of the popularity of social media sites. More details here.