The Royal Web 2.0 Wedding Sealed with a Kiss

We have had the royal web 2.0 wedding; Prince William married Catherine, and the world watched and participated online. The wedding is now the sixth biggest event in internet history. The top online events are the Football World Cup and the longest Wimbledon tennis match, both were in June 2010, and more than 10.3 million people per minute clicked on news about these sporting events.

Anyway, back to the royal wedding. The BBC website quivered under the huge volume of traffic, as millions of people accessed its coverage. Occasionally, visitors were greeted with an error message saying the website was experiencing “abnormal traffic” at around the time of 11am (GMT), which was the climax of the ceremony. Luckily, other major websites appeared to cope with the royal event that was predicted to break traffic records. A BBC spokesman said: “We are experiencing some technical issues with BBC Online due to the sheer weight of traffic, which may cause the site to be slower than normal in some cases."

YouTube’s live stream, which Google expected to attract 400 million viewers, ran smoothly. Palace officials collaborated with YouTube to deliver the official web 2.0 coverage to a global audience because of its unrivalled infrastructure of data centres and heavy duty fibre optic links. A spokesperson for Prince William said: “If anyone has the experience to do this, it's Google and YouTube”. Livestream, which provided online video for the Associated Press and CBS, said the royal day was its most popular stream ever. While, mobile operators along the wedding route were successful in ensuring that well-wishers were able to call, text, tweet and update Facebook. In fact, taking no chances they installed temporary network base stations along key wedding routes to strengthen and double capacity. Across the UK voice call volumes were up 15 per cent and picture messages up 23 per cent compared to a normal Friday.

Another interesting digital royal wedding 2.0 fact is that people were also frantically texting about the event. Texting traffic peaked at the start of wedding service which began at 11 am (GMT). Staggeringly, the daily texting/multimedia texting (SMS/MMS) traffic in the US and UK combined registered a whopping 600% increase! In the US texting/multimedia texting traffic increased 31% at the beginning of the royal wedding; this is probably due to the time difference between the countries, as Americans needed to wake at dawn or earlier to watch the event.

It is likely to take several days before a complete picture of how many watched the royal wedding on line emerges; though what is clear is how the internet is changing the way people search and absorb information. The royal wedding is a perfect example of how important the web and connected devices have become to our lives to experience something like this; as people around the world went online for their web 2.0 experience of this event...this reflects just how far we have moved as a global society.

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