When the President of the United States unexpectedly asks for time across the networks late on a Sunday night, you know it’s going to be big. And as the live statement was repeatedly delayed, that left everyone clamoring on Twitter while news organizations hit the phones. Before long, the news was out before the President approached the microphone.
Soon thereafter, I saw a tweet from CBS News Producer Jill Jackson, which attributed the news to a congressional aide. But CBSNews.com and its Twitter accounts kept silent. About 10 minutes later, Fox News tweeted that it confirmed the news followed by the NY Times a minute later. And from that moment, the news was everywhere.
For a good sense of how the story developed from there, look at BreakingNews.com, (where I work). We aggregated updates, tweets, photos and YouTube clips in near real-time. (To learn more about BreakingNews.com, Nieman Lab posted this overview.)
As you might imagine, Twitter set a record in tweets per second. (Our story here.)
The New York Observer tweeted this photo, explaining, “Look at Obama’s face when Seth Meyers made the joke about Bin Laden last night. Meme-creators, go to town.”
If you have any doubts about the power of social media and mobile devices, go no further than the Phillies-Mets game, where fans discovered the news on their phones. And then as more and more read the news, chants of “U-S-A” broke out across the crowd.
But perhaps the most fascinating social media development comes from Sohaib Athar (@reallyvirtual), who describes himself as “an IT consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops.” He’s “hiding” in Abbottabad, Pakistan — the same community where Osama bin Laden was killed — and he unknowingly tweeted about the attack. Click through to see his tweets, assembled on Storify…
Any more social media moments to add?
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