clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The solar eclipse was bigger for Facebook than any of the last four Super Bowls

Facebook says 66 million people “interacted” with the social network for the eclipse.

A crowd in Idaho watches the sky darken as the solar eclipse approaches totality. Natalie Behring / Getty

The NFL has been dethroned ... by Mother Nature.

Monday’s solar eclipse was bigger on Facebook than any Super Bowl we could find data for.

Facebook says that 66 million people worldwide created 240 million interactions about the eclipse, which includes “Likes,” posts, comments and reactions to other peoples’ posts.

The last four Super Bowl audiences on Facebook:

2017 — 64 million

2016 — 60 million

2015 — 65 million

2014 — 50 million

Take that, Tom Brady.

The numbers don’t mean much on the surface, but let’s overanalyze real fast.

  • Monday’s obsession with the eclipse shows that Facebook doesn’t need a massive TV event to draw Super Bowl-sized crowds. The social network has long pitched advertisers that it can deliver a “Super Bowl-sized” audience every day, but now we know it can deliver a Super Bowl-sized audience for events that have nothing to do with sports or football or traditional TV.
  • This massive crowd also explains why every publisher on the internet, including the fine folks over at Recode, were writing about the eclipse yesterday. Publishers gravitate toward topics people are talking about, and people were talking about a shadow.
  • As my colleague Peter Kafka pointed out to me, though, there is also a “chicken or the egg” scenario at play here. Were publishers writing about the eclipse because people were talking about it? Or were people talking about it because publishers were obsessively covering it? I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes!

The eclipse was a much smaller affair over on Twitter. The company says that there were more than six million tweets sent about the eclipse in a 24-hour window that ended Monday afternoon. The Super Bowl earlier this year resulted in more than 27 million tweets.

If you’re sad the eclipse is over, here is a collection of eclipse photos published by the New York Times to cheer you up.

This article originally appeared on