January 22nd, 2009

Internet Use During Inauguration

As reported by the Guardian, online activity dipped during the inauguration.  Google searches, Flickr uploads and Last.fm listening all paused while listening to President Obama’s swearing in ceremony.  Google reported that:

“…the overall query volume of Google searches dropped in the U.S. from the time President Obama took the oath of office until the end of his inaugural speech, demonstrating that all eyes were on today’s festivities.”

However, the number of people trying to watch the ceremony live from their computers was incredibly high and caused some streaming difficulties for viewers.  According to a New York Times article:

“CNN said it provided more than 21.3 million video streams over a nine-hour span up to midafternoon. That blew past the 5.3 million streams provided during all of Election Day. At its peak, CNN.com fed 1.3 million live streams simultaneously, according to Jennifer Martin, a spokeswoman for the site.”

As Google points out, there has been a significant shift in internet use since the last presidential inauguration:

“During the last nine years, the growth of the Internet has changed the way the world seeks information. From President Bush’s first inaugural address in 2001 to his second in 2005, the number of inauguration-related searches increased by more than a factor of ten. From 2005 to today’s address, the number grew even more.”

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