Twitter Scorecard: #TheDress vs. Net Neutrality vs. Runaway Llamas

A perfect storm of national news and viral nonsense lead to a record number of tweets this week

The news cycle went in to overtime Thursday, jumping from one trending topic to another.

Just as the media finished its first round of stories on net neutrality’s victory against regulation, a pair of llamas broke loose in Arizona. Coverage was initially limited to local news outlets in Phoenix before exploding on Twitter. Soon enough, the llama chase was picked up and streamed live on CNN and Fox News .

Between 5 a.m. ET Thursday and 5 p.m. ET Friday, net neutrality was the subject of a respectable 540,000 tweets according to Twitter. After bursting on to the scene at 2:30 p.m. ET Thursday, the runway llamas got 630,000 tweets before end of business on Friday.

While both stories made Twitter’s trending topics widget, it still wasn’t a record day for the social network. After all, there were 5.9 million tweets shared about the Oscars on Sunday.

Still, it seemed nothing could top the volume of workday conversation surrounding the llama drama until Buzzfeed shared a viral  Tumblr post debating the color of a dress reportedly worth $77.

Suddenly, the nation was obsessed with gold and white or blue and black. Buzzfeed enjoyed the most traffic to a post it’s ever seen (over 28 million views at last count). The topic trended on Twitter and Facebook, was discussed by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Julianne Moore, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mindy Kaling, got coverage from news outlets including TheWrap, Time, Business Insider and the New York Times and became a talking point on all of the news networks and morning shows.

All told, the dress debate scored a whopping 11 million tweets, thus topping the Oscars and just barely edging the Grammys (which generated 10.8 million tweets).

Hollywood, take note. This week, at least, Twitter users would rather argue an off-the-rack dress than debate designer-clad celebrities swanning down the red carpet.