Oscars Storm Twitter with Push from Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen helped the Oscars shoot to new heights on Twitter on Sunday night, thanks to her celeb-studded selfie that brought the social network to its knees for a few moments.

The total U.S. audience on Twitter was nearly one-third the TV draw, with a 75% jump in tweets related to the show over last year.

About 13.9 million people viewed a total of 1.04 billion Twitter TV impressions about the Oscars, which aired on ABC, according to Nielsen’s SocialGuide, which works with Twitter to compile the data. That’s compared with 43 million U.S. viewers overall who watched the TV broadcast on the Alphabet net, per Nielsen.

Among U.S. users, total unique tweets posted grew 75% over last year’s Oscars. On Sunday, a total of 11.2 million event-related tweets were posted by 2.8 million unique authors, up from 6.4 million tweets in 2013. (Nielsen SocialGuide launched the Twitter TV Ratings last October, so it does not have a year-over-year comparison for reach or total impressions.)

But in terms of absolute numbers, the so-called “Super Bowl for women” was outmatched by the actual Super Bowl. The Feb. 2 football championship generated 1.8 billion Twitter impressions, reaching a total U.S. audience of 15.3 million, SocialGuide estimated. On the other hand, it’s worth noting Super Bowl XLVIII’s TV audience was more than double the Oscars.

For the Oscars, in the biggest tweet-driving event, host Ellen DeGeneres staged a selfie with a gaggle of thesps (which was actually snapped by Bradley Cooper). At her urging, the resulting post quickly became the most retweeted in the platform’s history, knocking Twitter out of commission for a few minutes. As of Monday afternoon, it had been retweeted nearly 2.9 million times.

SEE ALSO: Ellen’s Oscar Selfie Breaks Twitter Record

With the Oscars selfie, “the power of Twitter as the perfect companion to TV shone through,” Andrew Adashek, head of TV creative partnerships for Twitter, wrote in a blog post.

The tweet was done in conjunction with show sponsor Samsung, which supplied the Galaxy Note 3 phone; DeGeneres’ tweets from backstage, however, were sent from an iPhone. The Samsung promotion continued Monday: DeGeneres tweeted that she had given everyone in the audience of “The Ellen Show” one of the devices.

Facebook, meanwhile, claimed 11.3 million users had a total of 25.4 million interactions about the Oscars on Sunday during the telecast, with women 18-34 representing the top demo.

A Facebook rep said the company’s tracking methodology “evolved” since the 2013 Oscars, so it can’t compare year-to-year results. For the 2014 Golden Globes in January, Facebook recorded 4.1 million people having 7.2 million interactions on the service.

According to Facebook, the top social moments during the show were: “12 Years a Slave” winning Best Picture; Jared Leto winning Best Supporting Actor and thanking his mom; Matthew McConaughey winning Best Actor; Bette Midler singing “Wind Beneath My Wings”; and DeGeneres escorting the pizza-delivery guy into the theater and handing out slices to celebs.

On Twitter, the highest-volume Oscar moments were: DeGeneres’ selfie bit (10:07 p.m. ET), which resulted in 254,644 tweets per minute; the talkshow host delivering pizza to the audience (10:24 p.m. ET), for 158,159 tweets per minute; and “Gravity” winning its sixth Oscar, for film editing (10:31 p.m. ET) for 135,330 tweets per minute.

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