One million Facebook users farewell Jackson

One million Facebook members worldwide paid online tributes to Michael Jackson while

watching the King of Pop’s memorial in Los Angeles.


“Update” messages were fired off at feverish rates as the concert was broadcast live on TV and online, with comments tied to CNN video feeds peaking at 6,000 per minute, the social networking website said.

“The 6,000 is just for CNN Live,” said Facebook marketing director Randi Zuckerberg.

“It is significantly higher than that when you factor in E! Online, ABC, and MTV which each have their own Facebook Connect implementations.”

Facebook reported that 759,000 users watched the memorial event online at CNN Live, with 87,000 others opting for E! Online and 97,000 viewing video feeds at ABC websites. Another 21,000 watched the memorial online at MTV.

Posts from around the world

“The most interesting thing is how many people are writing in internationally,” Zuckerberg said, adding there had been regular updates from Switzerland, Israel, Britain and Barbados.

“The [Presidential] inauguration was certainly a US centred event, but the Jackson memorial seems to have a huge international presence.”

Facebook posts during the memorial included a user identified as Elycia Cook of Japan saying, “I am at work in my MJ T-shirt trying to get something done between the tears.”

Another Facebook user theorised that in many parts of the world, “nothing will be getting done right now.”

Facebook rival MySpace also streamed the memorial event online, but viewer figures were not immediately available.

Memorial a ‘large global event’

Online video news traffic in the United States, Europe, and other places around the globe surged above normal during the memorial, according to Akamai Technologies.

At times nearly four million people per minute were watching the event streamed online, Akamai said in postings at Twitter.

“We expected it to be a large global event online and planned accordingly,” said Akamai spokeswoman Helen Yang.

Facebook status updates – brief thoughts posted at a given moment – linked to the inauguration peaked at 8,000 per minute at the start of Obama’s swearing-in ceremony.

A total of 1.8 million Facebook status updates containing the word “Obama” were sent on the day he was inaugurated, according to Facebook.