Singer Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. - AFP Photo

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter users fired off a record number of tweets per second following the announcement by pop diva Beyonce at the MTV Video Music Awards that she is expecting a baby.

“Last night at 10:35 pm, Beyonce's big MTV #VMA moment gave Twitter a record bump: 8,868 Tweets per second,” the San Francisco-based real-time messaging service said in a statement on its @TwitterGlobalPR feed.

The spike in Twitter activity came after Beyonce showed off a noticeable bulge following a performance at the award ceremony.

This will be the first child for the 29-year-old Beyonce and her husband of three years, 41-year-old rapper Jay-Z.

The previous record for tweets per second was 7,196 at the final whistle of Japan's thrilling upset win over the United States in the women's World Cup final in July.

Another football match is next in terms of the highest number of tweets per second ever sent: Brazil's shock loss to Paraguay in the Copa America. Twitter users sent 7,166 tweets per second at the conclusion of that match.

Twitter users sent 6,939 tweets per second on January 1, 2011 as the New Year arrived in Tokyo and more than 5,000 per second as news spread of the death of the Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May.

Other peaks for Twitter activity include the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, with 5,530 tweets per second, and April's British royal wedding, with 3,966 tweets per second.

Twitter, which was founded in 2006, said in June that Twitter users are sending 200 million tweets a day, up from 65 million a year ago.

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