World Cup fans have reached fever pitch when cheering on their favorite teams these past few weeks, sending 16.4 million tweets during the Brazil vs. Chile game alone. But sometimes silence can be just as powerful, as new stats from Twitter show.
Just like a stadium’s pregnant pause when a penalty kick is launched, so too did Twitter fans take a sharp inhale – and stopped tweeting – each time a contender stepped up.
Data from Twitter shows that each time a player took a penalty shot, Twitter reacted by going silent.
In the graph above, you can see a zoomed-in section depicting the first penalty shot by Brazil’s David Luiz. Twitter chattered while he got ready for the kick, began to slow when the ref blew the whistle, and came to a stop when he took the shot.
The same pattern is repeated for the rest of the penalty shootout, right until the final shot was missed by Chile’s Gonzalo Jara and Brazil was declared the winner. And Twitter says they’ve seen the same pattern repeated during every shootout in the knockout round.
Sports fans around the world seem to hold their breath – whether they’re in the stadiums, watching on TV or live tweeting – when a player makes that fateful penalty kick.
(Soccer kick image via Shutterstock)