Kevin ClarkUX Director, Shopify

That Time One of My Tweets Reached 33K Retweets

Yeah, that really happened. On Monday last week, just after coming in to work we started noticing that the Beaver Hall street right in front of the office was super icy and that cars had trouble stopping. So a lot of us started gathering around the windows. At some point it got pretty crazy: 4 cars, 2 buses, 1 taxi, 1 pickup, a police car and a snow plow all bumped into each other in the span of a few minutes. And we had everything on video. One of my coworkers quickly edited together a montage of all the videos and added the “Winter Wonderland” track to top it off.

We all thought it was hilarious, so some people posted the video to YouTube, some posted the video on Facebook. I posted it on Twitter. None of us thought it would go viral, but it did.

About 5 minutes after posting the tweet, my phone started blowing up. It was buzzing non-stop. Notifications were flying by on my lockscreen. Mentions were coming up faster than I could keep up. I got over a thousand mentions in about an hour. At that point, I had no choice but to turn off all notifications for Tweetbot to maintain my sanity.

People from everywhere around the world were retweeting and sending me messages. The video was on the radio, on TV, in the newspapers the next morning. To be honest, it kinda broke Twitter for me for a few days. I got so many mentions from all these strangers that it was impossible for me to see mentions from the people I really care about. I also got to read everyone’s interpretation of the video: people saying “this is why I live in California”, people saying “these are terrible drivers, how come they don’t know how to drive in the snow?”, people saying “this is hilarious”, people saying “this is terrifying, why are people laughing at this”. I also had to translate a few mentions just to be able to tell what they were saying. Here are some of my favorite replies:

Over the following days, my tweet got a total of:

  • 3,436,686 impressions
  • 799,264 media views

As you can see in that image, after just a few days the buzz was over. People moved on to other things and everything went back to normal. An to be honest, I’m happy to not be the center of attention anymore. It was a fun experience to see what it’s like to be famous on the internet, but I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Shout-out to Ara Pehlivanian, Bart de Water, Julien Lapointe Nguyen, Willem Shepherd, Annie Caron, Krystian Czesak and Louis Vanier for taking the footage you see in the video.

Anyways, see you at the next snow storm. ✌️😉❄️

(Oh and if you’re wondering why you can’t view the video anymore, it got taken down for copyright infringement because of the song. Oh well.)