Via David Goldman of CNN Money, Wednesday’s announcement of new Pope Francis gave the Internet a jolt:
Overall Web traffic peaked at 32% above normal Wednesday, according to Akamai’s real-time monitor. About 20% of the world’s Internet traffic flows through Akamai’s servers, making it one of the largest content delivery networks on Earth.
Total social traffic on Akamai’s giant network peaked at 2:20 p.m. ET, about 10 minutes after white smoke rose from a chimney above Rome’s Sistine Chapel. Social traffic served by Akamai nearly reached the same level an hour later when Francis emerged from the balcony atop St. Peter’s Basilica.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest Internet traffic spike occurred in South America, where social network traffic jumped more than 50%. Francis is the first non-European pope in more than 1,000 years and the first Latin American pope in the church’s history.
Also of interest, Twitter hit a high of 130,000 tweets a minute, which was close to the benchmark hit during this year’s Super Bowl.