Any doubts about Michael Jackson's megastardom should have ended after news of the singer's death tripped up Google and crashed AOL Instant Messenger, Wikipedia, TMZ and, of course, Twitter. A survey of the epic traffic:

  • Leading news websites saw traffic surge to 4.2 million visitors per minute from around 2.75 million visitors per minute, according to Akamai.
  • CNN's traffic grew fivefold in one hour and the site clocked 20 million pageviews.
  • Twitter had its biggest spike in traffic, to 5,000 tweets per second, since Barack Obama's election as president, according to co-founder Biz Stone.
  • Facebook status updates tripled.
  • AOL Instant Messenger went down for 40 minutes.
  • TMZ, which broke the news of Jackson's death, crashed several times amid a surge of traffic.
  • The LA Times, which got early confirmation of the death, went down, as well.
  • For about half an hour, Michael Jackson queries weren't working on Google News.
  • Wikipedia froze amid an edit war on Jackson's page.