Pope Chosen: 130,000 Tweets a Minute, Tops Facebook Mentions

3:04 PM PST 03/13/2013 by Erik Hayden
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Pope Francis I

Over 7 million tweets related to the selection of Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio were sent so far on Wednesday.

As white smoke rose from the Vatican, the world tuned in to see who would be selected as the successor to Pope Benedict XVI -- and social media analytics reflected the interest. 

On Twitter, an estimated 7 million tweets related to the selection of Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio were sent, the company said

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The United States and Argentina were the top two countries tweeting about the news -- 22 percent of tweets mentioning the pope were from U.S. users and 19 percent were from the newly selected pope's home country, social media analytics firm Topsy found. Eleven percent of tweets about the pope were from Spain, and 8 percent were from Mexico.

130,000 tweets per minute about the new pope were registered after the news broke, Twitter said. The tweet from the official Vatican account, @Pontifex, announcing the selection has been retweeted over 61,000 times as of this writing. 

Facebook said that "Pope" and "Jorge Bergoglio" became the top two mentioned terms for users worldwide, and mentions for the word "Pope" increased 10,000 percent after the announcement. "Vatican," "White smoke," "Cardinal" and "Catholic" were the next four top terms. 

Naturally, mentions of the term "Bergoglio" on Facebook increased dramatically after the news broke -- 3.7 million percent, the company said. 

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