Messaging, Webcast Numbers Skyrocket for Royal Wedding

Yahoo, Livestream and others set new records as the world uses the Web to watch a royal wedding for the first time. Facebook reported that more more than 10 million comments about the even were posted by late in the day.

The royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana attracted a huge television audience from virtually every corner of the world in pre-Internet year 1981. As one might expect, the IT communication flow around the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) wedding on April 29 brought one-day international messaging and shared video to a whole new level.

Facebook says more than 6.8 million people publicly commented on the wedding within the first 12 hours of the event. That number passed the 10 million mark by the end of the day.

Millions more people followed the London pageantry in live streams on their desktop, laptop and mobile PCs while commenting on social media sites.

Livestream, which partnered with The Associated Press, UK Press Association, CBS and Entertainment Tonight for its live stream, said it surpassed its own record with, at one point, more than 300,000 concurrent live streams.

Yahoo said it experienced its largest traffic for a live video event, outperforming its audience for Michael Jackson's July 2009 funeral by a whopping 21 percent, the AP said.

YouTube's RoyalChannel a Popular Medium

Among the many outlets webcasting the event was the royal family's own RoyalChannel, a YouTube site that offered live video and tweets from Clarence House, the prince's official residence.

The RoyalChannel was so popular with viewers that it experienced some distribution problems, as could be expected. Web performance monitoring service AlertSite, which followed 15 sites during the wedding, found that while YouTube's homepage had 100 percent availability, the royal wedding channel had 74 percent availability and slower response times.

Akamai Technologies, which delivers about 20 percent of the world's Internet traffic, said that global page views for the roughly 100 news portals for which it delivers content peaked at nearly 5.4 million a minute during the morning of April 29.

That amounted to the sixth-largest traffic flow Akamai had ever recorded. The current record is 10.4 million page views per minute, set on June 24, 2010, during the World Cup soccer tournament.

IT traffic on the Web and came in surges, reported SAP-owned Sybase365, a global mobile messaging and mobile commerce service provider.

Sybase365: 600 Percent Increase in SMS/MMS Traffic

Sybase365 reported a 600 percent combined increase in daily SMS/MMS traffic between combined U.S. and U.K. markets at the start of the wedding, drifting down to just over double towards the end of the ceremonies.

The service provider also said that U.S. carriers nationally experienced 31 percent increase in SMS/MMS traffic at the start of the wedding -- big numbers considering the times on the East (4 a.m.) and West (1 a.m.) coasts when the events began.

The combination of Sybase IQ and Sybase 365 Operator Analytics provides telco operators a near-real-time view of their messaging operations and enables them to run complex queries on their high-volume, high-capacity data store. The company's real-time analytics and operator services are what made this monitoring possible.

The highest amount of response time, of the sites surveyed by AlertSite, came from, and, the AP said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...