The Aldubification of the Twitterverse

aldubI am normally not a big fan of Pinoy showbiz, love teams, noontime shows, Eat Bulaga, or even Tito Vic and Joey, but when the whole #Aldub situation broke out around a month ago, I developed a morbid fascination for the whole social media aspect of the thing. Specifically the use of Twitter hashtags and the domination of daily trending topics in the Philippines. As everyone and his neighbor knows by now, the whole Twitter thing exploded and came to a head last Saturday (Oct 24).

On October 24, Aldub (aka the Alden Richards-Maine Mendoza “loveteam”) headlined their three hour commercial break-free Eat Bulaga extravaganza “Tamang Panahon” event, with about 55 thousand Aldubians packing in the Philippine Arena.

Aldub55

(Note: Concert photo above courtesy of Robert Javier. Yes, that guy from The Youth).

It’s supposed to have set the Philippine record for the biggest indoor concert attendance. But a larger, global record was actually being set that day.

I started writing this on the evening that it was announced by the “Aldub Nation” that their Twitter hashtag #ALDubEBTamangPanahon concluded the past 24 hours with 39.5 Million mentions.

On Monday evening, Twitter certified the actual tally was actually 41 Million tweets, establishing a new world record. Tweeting from the @TwitterSG account they said:

This tweet also incorporates a neat interactive data visualisation generated by Twitter from their Twitter Reverb platform. This allows us to see that at at the height of this madness, at around 2:30 pm, 48,000 tweets per minute were being pumped out by the Aldub faithful.

So exactly what records did Aldub break?

According to this Engadget report, the American record for the most number of tweets related to a TV event was held by the Patriots vs Seahawks game during Superbowl XLIX in 2015, with 28.4 Million tweets.

The Superbowl in general beat out all other TV genres in the US in 2015, according to this Statista.com chart.

superbowl-grammies

This is in relation to other big TV events like the Grammy Awards, Empire, The Walking Dead series premiere , and the SNL 40th anniversary special.

In the meantime, the global record for the most tweets related to a single sporting event is the FIFA WorldCup Brazil vs. Germany game on July 9, 2015, with 35.6 Million tweets.

worldcup-graph

At 41 Million tweets, that Aldub “Tamang Panahon” event beat them all in terms of tweets. And that was the number counted just for a single hashtag.

So to take this all into perspective, Aldub beat the WorldCup, the Superbowl, the Grammies, Empire, the Walking Dead, and Saturday Night Live. On Twitter, at least.

This fact may not have reverberated throughout the global Twitterverse yet. But it might just happen soon, possibly in the next few days. Hey, Mashable!

The last time Aldub hit some sort of record (26 million tweets for their hashtag #AldubEBforLove) I tipped off Twitter’s PR guru Dickson Seow in Singapore, who had @TwitterSG generate this interactive chart using their Reverb data visualisation platform:

Word about Aldub inside Twitter itself first got around during a series of bizarre emails I exchanged with folks at Twitter’s carrier partnerships team last September. In which I, as a self-confessed non-viewer of local noontime shows, was put in the odd position of explaining this curious pop culture phenomenon. This even had me explaining what on earth a “love team” was.

I did my Aldub explanation once again at the tail end of a business meeting at the Twitter HQ in San Francisco. After which, I had this weird idea of having the guys I was meeting with pose a photo doing the “Pabebe Wave” associated with Aldub. I posted the resulting photo on Twitter.

So here is Winson Wong and Justin Davis of Twitter trying to do a Pabebe Wave, which admittedly looks more like an attempt at a Vulcan “Live Long and Prosper” greeting.

Much to my surprise, Aldub fans went apeshit and the tweet itself got over 17,000 impressions and wild engagement figures. But such is the power of the Aldub Nation.

aldubtweetactivity

At the height of the frenzied interaction over the photo, a couple of fans asked the Twitter guys if they could please please pretty please officially verify the individual accounts of  Aldub themselves – Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza – so these could be easily distinguished from fake accounts. And most importantly, have that distinctive tell-tale blue check mark.

The Twitter guys said sure, and put in a request, and few days later, the accounts were verified. I think this normally takes a week or so if you do it through official channels, but by now Twitter HQ was realizing that Aldub was something of a hot Twitter phenomenon, so it didn’t take too long to process the request.

aldubaccts

Now after 41 Million Tweets of an Aldub hashtag in a single 24-hour period, I am expecting a lot more post-event news to be coming out of Twitter in the days to come. By any measure, that record is no small potatoes.

Who’s to credit (or blame, depending on your point of view) for all this Aldubification of the Twitterverse? In a normal world, one would credit the producers (TAPE, Inc) and their massive marketing machine. But after analyzing the phenomenon, I would give the credit to the Aldub fans themselves, specifically the well-oiled machine that is “Aldub Nation” on Twitter.

ineffableAnd I would specifically single out Rain Basa, aka @ineffable888, Aldub Nation’s hardworking “Aldub Statistician”, who does the daily tallies of the hashtag counts. It’s not a trial and error process. Quite the stats geek, Rain wrote a series of applications that directly accesses the Twitter API to read the data straight from the Twitter stream.

At one point Rain asked me if I could ask Twitter on his behalf for access to the Twitter Firehose so he could generate better stats. I sent an introduction email to the Twitter guys, but unfortunately the reply came back, sorry but access to the Twitter firehose is limited to commercial users of the API. Rain uses the free public version of the Twitter API, which has its limitations.

By now I’m thinking, you know, TAPE is probably generating hundreds of  millions of pesos from the Aldub phenomenon, and a large part of it is due to this Twitter notoriety. Maybe the least they can do is pay for Rain Basa’s access to commercial Twitter APIs for his Aldub stats.

Or heck, maybe he can ask the new Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to do something about it. As a developer himself who has recently pledged to help Twitter developers, @jack would understand where @ineffable888 is coming from.

———————–

Postscript: After 41 Million tweets, where does the Aldub Nation go from here? Stay tuned for the next installment.

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5 thoughts on “The Aldubification of the Twitterverse

  1. The response to this article has been amazing! Thank you all for dropping by and reading what I had to say. I’ve been itching to write about the impact that the Aldub Nation has had on the Twittererverse for some time, but have only now found the time to do so.

  2. I’m not a die hard fan, but that Saturday event made me laugh, cry and giddy. It’s a team effort of all the production staff of EB. And kudos to Wally as Lola Nidora, and the 2 other Lolas who really made the big part in AlDub story. Thank you for your analysis on Twitterverse and all the technicalities were clearer now on layman’ s term.

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