Japan set a new Tweets pers Second (TPS) record over the weekend due to a classic Studio Ghibli animated film. “Castles in the Sky”, which airs annually around this time of year. At one particular point in the film it managed to amass 11,349 TPS, thus knocking off the previous title holder of 8868 TPS when fans learned of american singer Beyonce’s pregnancy.
The outpouring of tweets came from what has become an annual event as fans of Ghibli, and one of Japan’s most popular animators Hayao Miyazaki, issue the online cry of “Balse” during the climax of the film, echoing the icnoic spell cast by the two main characters. As Watashi To Tokyo reported, each year fans have managed to generate massive amounts of traffic on different social network sites such as 2ch and Nico Nico Douga, who’s servers went down last year due to the massive volumes of traffic. This year the social video network site had a team of engineers specifically employed to watch the servers during the show to cope with the anticipated volume of users during the crucial time.
As well as a bit of fun, the annual event actually points to the growing online community participating in activities on a shared platform yet whilst physically alone. Sites such as Nico Nico Douga now have over 50% of Japanese males in their twenties registered with the site, and online communities such as MIxi and more recently Facebook and Twitter also boasting large rapidly growing numbers. As a result more and more brands are now harnessing the power of online social communities in Japan as they realize the potential to reach mass markets in memorable and cost effective ways.