Sunday’s Super Bowl was, to put it bluntly, pretty boring. That was reflected on the Internet as well: Despite it being the 50th Super Bowl and most likely the last game for future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, both Facebook and Twitter saw significantly less Super Bowl chatter than they did last year.
Facebook reported that 60 million people created some 200 million posts, comments and "Likes" throughout the game. Those numbers are down from last year, when 65 million people generated 265 million posts, comments and "Likes." That’s about 25 percent less activity, for those keeping score.
Twitter had it even worse. Much worse, in fact. Roughly 3.8 million people created 16.9 million tweets during the game in the United States, according to Nielsen. That’s down from 25.1 million tweets sent during last year’s game, a drop of roughly 33 percent*. In fact, Twitter didn’t even share its total tweet metrics this year, as it did in 2015. The company also didn’t immediately reply to our request for comment on Nielsen’s numbers.
Update: More data is in. Twitter’s self-reported numbers also conclude that tweets were down this year. Twitter says that 27 million tweets were sent globally about the Super Bowl, including a three-hour window before the game and a 30-minute window directly afterward. Last year, that number was 28.4 million, and only included tweets during the actual game and immediately after. So fewer tweets were sent in a broader time window this year.
Twitter also said that those tweets generated 4.3 billion impressions, a jump up from 2.5 billion impressions last year and a nod to the company’s effort to change the narrative around its size. (Twitter didn’t include syndicated impressions last year, just those on Twitter-owned properties.)
Remember: Twitter argues that its reach should be measured by how many people see its content, not by how many create it.
Final Super Bowl numbers are here... https://t.co/922S2gOvv9— adam bain (@adambain) February 9, 2016
Yes, a lousy game doesn’t help. But a dip like this is not a great sign for either platform, both of which offered new features this year intended to increase engagement for a game just like this. On Twitter, that feature is Moments, a curated stream of tweets around a particular event. On Facebook, it’s Sports Stadium, a new area of the app dedicated to following live sporting events and talking with your friends about them. (The new feature had some technical difficulties Sunday afternoon.)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will be hit hardest from a poor showing like this. User conversations around live events are where Twitter is supposed to dominate. This kind of regression is exactly why the company stock is at an all-time low; investors are concerned about slowing user growth and the resulting engagement falloff.
Those same investors are bracing for the company’s earnings this week, and it could have used a nice Super Bowl boost to highlight on the earnings call. Apparently it’ll need to find something else.
* Update: We changed the number of tweets listed for last year’s Super Bowl from Twitter’s self-reported number (28.4 million) to Nielsen’s number (25.1 million). That’s because Twitter reported global tweets and Nielsen only reported U.S. tweets.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.