A Music Legend Passes: The Online Community Responds

Whitney Houston

Image from: Feature Flash / Shutterstock

On Saturday, legendary singer Whitney Houston passed away. This morning, Mashable pointed out that we first learned of Whitney Houston’s death via Twitter. In fact, news of her death emerged on Twitter 27 minutes before it was reported on by the mainstream media, yet again proving twitter not only as a social media tool but also as a breaking news source. Houston’s death is clearly a tragic loss to the musical community, but it is simultaneously an example of how quickly news can spread online.

For instance, in just a few short days, the search term “Whitney Houston” has climbed to number 2 on the Daily Search Referral list to CBSnews.com, driving 5.67% of all search referral traffic. Similarly, the keyword “Whitney” also drove 1.13% of all search referral traffic.

Daily Search Referrals to CBSnews.comA quick Google search of “Whitney Houston” returns results from the LA Times, Perez Hilton and CBS News. I checked these sites with data from Compete.com and all three sites show big spikes in traffic on Saturday, when news of her death was announced.

Daily Reach to Perez Hilton, LA Times and CBS News

In addition to the news of her death breaking on Twitter, all of the comments on the news of her death were overwhelmingly positive and complimentary of the artist. Although Whitney Houston’s death is surely a tragedy, her music will continue to inspire artists for decades and her memory will live on within the context of the people that she inspired.

About Kendra Bissonnette:
Kendra comes to Compete to work in the Online Marketing department as the social media co-op. Kendra is currently a student at Northeastern studying Communications and Interactive Media. Find Kendra on Twitter @KNBissonnette.