An estimated two billion people in 180 countries were watching the Royal Wedding yesterday on television screens with an additional 400 million people tuning in via the Internet.
In an age where technology has facilitated virtual meetings and events, the royal wedding is thought to have drawn in an estimated 400 million viewers online, making it the largest internet event so far.
The ceremony combined age old traditions of state, with the modern trends of the internet, as it was screened live on the BBC website and YouTube. Updates could be found on the official Royal Wedding Website and visitors were also sent to an official Twitter feed, a Flickr photo account and a wedding event page on Facebook.
Television broadcasters also tapped into the mobile market, streaming the wedding to mobile devices, smartphones and tablet PCs.
While the streets of London were buzzing with excitement, millions of people around the world were sharing thoughts and discussing the big day with each other via social networking channels and forums that have infiltrated into mainstream society.
The BBC website, which was streaming the event, experienced some technical glitches at one point in the day. Visitors received a message during the ceremony at 11am saying the website was experiencing ‘abnormal traffic’. Meanwhile YouTube reported the the event to be its 23rd most visited channel of the day.
The Monarchy had specifically requested the support of Google, which owns YouTube, to host the live feed of the event and the royal wedding website, anticipating that there would be huge numbers of people around the world tuning in at the same time.
Mobile phone users reported glitches with phone networks due to large numbers of mobile phone users descending in one area. Vodaphone and O2 reportedly added services around the procession route in Hyde Park and St James’ Park.
O2 had been expecting 65 million royal wedding photos to be posted online from smartphones.
According to reports, across the country voice call volumes were up 15 per cent and picture messages up 23 per cent compared to a normal Friday.
Those who turned up for the celebrations in London also found mobile guides such as London.Mobi invaluable to keep abreast of what was happening in the capital whilst they were on the move.
London.Mobi is the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, and includes information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi also covers guides to over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Paris.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi.
Royal Wedding celebrations around the world
200 people gathered in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village to watch the royal wedding unfold on TV screen, whilst enjoying an British breakfast in a restaurant bedecked with the Union Jack flag. Others watched the ceremony on a giant projection from Brooklyn.
The wedding was watched by millions in China and the internet the wedding was the fifth most popular topic on Sina Weibo which is China’s equivalent of Twitter. All this is despite the emperor abdicating the ceremony a century ago.
The Indian Express carried a picture of Kate Middleton on the front page, with a story.