On October 14, 2012, a man named Felix Baumgartner got in a balloon, cruised to an altitude just before going into space, put on his parachute and jumped. Not only was this event broadcasted on multiple TV stations, but it (of course) found its way onto the Internet. Oh, and it broke a YouTube record.
According to a blog post from YouTube, at the peak of the event, there were 8 million live streams occurring at one time. This set a YouTube record. But another interesting tidbit of information is that Baumgartner broke ANOTHER YouTube record on the same day, well before he jumped. At the same time, 7.1 million people turned to YouTube to watch the event, and it eventually climbed to 8 million.
Felix Baumgartner is an Austrian diver, and his stunt on October 14 captivated a very wide audience. Along with breaking two YouTube records, he also managed to break some other world records. He set the record for highest jump, which took place from a platform at 128,100 feet above ground. He set the record for longest freefall, which went 119,846 feet. He also set the record for fastest free fall velocity, in which he managed to break the sound barrier.
Why did he do it?
Aside from the recognition, there’s no real reason why Baumgartner performed the stunt. He has been a partner with Red Bull, the jump’s sponsor, since 1988 when he was only 19 years old. He has been a partner ever since and over the years, has performed many skydiving jumps and exhibitions on behalf of the company. And while Red Bull generated revenue from the event, Baumgartner will not cash in on any of it. Instead, this jump simply solidifies his role as a Red Bull partner.
What does it have to do with social media?
Aside from breaking two YouTube records, Baumgartner’s jump resonated on other social media sites too. After he had successfully completed the jump, Red Bull posted a picture of him on Facebook. In less than one hour, the picture was shared just under 30,000 times, received 10,000 comments and was liked by over 216,000 people.
During the jump, half of the trending topics on Twitter had something to do with Baumgartner’s jump, beating out every NFL game that was taking place and even trending topic frontrunner Justin Bieber.
The topic of the jump also generated two threads on Reddit that landed on the front page.
This event goes to show how social media can be impacted by one event. It can easily generate interest on multiple social networking channels, and be the reigning topic on every single one.
Red Bull has been using extreme sports as a marketing tactic for years, and the jump by Felix Baumgartner was truly exceptional. It makes you wonder what extreme event Red Bull will come up with next that will have the same type of impact on the world…and social media.
This article was written by Joshua Reynolds in tandem with SEOMap. Visit SEOMap to download free learning resources.