Hurricane Sandy becomes best documented storm ever on both traditional and social media


By John Glenday, Reporter

October 30, 2012 | 2 min read

Hurricane Sandy’s destructive foray across the eastern seaboard of the United States has seen an unprecedented burst of activity on social media channels as people clamour for the latest news and info on the ‘Frankenstorm’.

On Twitter the #Sandy and #hurricanesandy hashtags are trending in the UK with the likes of CNN and the BBC providing rolling updates. News International has even suspended their paywall for weather related content according to Katie Couric @katiecouric, who tweeted: “Both @NYTimes & @WSJ suspending paywalls today so u can check their sites for #Sandy updates even if u don't have dig subscription. #nice!”

To better manage this influx of data the micro blogging service has launched a special blog page to direct tweeters to official government and emergency services accounts. The service is also instructing users on how to receive tweets via SMS for those battling power outages.

At Instagram meanwhile a purported ten photos per second are being posted via the image sharing service with an incredible 285,000 photos tagged #sandy and a further 172,000 snaps tagged #hurricanesandy.

Facebook has become a vital lifeline for friends and families to stay in touch and share tips for coping with blackouts and the suspension of essential services with the top 10 most mentioned phrases all referencing the storm in some way; from ‘Sandy’, ‘Hurricane Sandy’ and ‘Hurricane’, to ‘stay safe’, ‘be safe’, ‘power’, ‘cold’, ‘friends’ and ‘prayers’.

Indeed Facebook’s ‘talk meter’, a gauge of the popularity of particular topics, has given the the storm a rating of 7.12 out of ten, ahead of even the San Francisco Giants World Series win on Sunday which garnered a score of just 6.71.

All this means that the hurricane is likely to be the best documented in history with thousands of eyewitness testimonies, images and footage being transmitted around the globe.


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