Kim Kardashian Ass vs Comet P67
Kim Kardashian's derrière pictures were no match for landing a spacecraft on Comet 67P in terms of social media interest Paper Magazine/ESA/IBTimes UK

Kim Kardashian's ass or Comet 67P?

If you were hanging about on the internet or social media this week, these two hugely contrasting stories seemed to be the only topics anyone was talking about - the question on everyone's lips is, which is bigger?

One was a campaign with the specific goal to "break the internet" by publishing images of Kim Kardashian's rotund posterior in Paper magazine, with the accompanying hashtag used to help spread the word around the globe.

The second was the less salacious, but altogether more worthy achievement of successfully landing a spaceship on a speeding comet over 500,000,000 kilometres from Earth.

In a world where reality stars tend to be more revered than scientists and engineers, it is interesting to see that despite Kardashian's attempts at "breaking the internet", it was a 2km-wide lump of ice and rock named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko which garnered much more attention - on Twitter at least.


Using Topsy, a Twitter analytics tool, it is clear to see that not only were there more tweets about the Philae craft landing on the comet, the sentiment surrounding these tweets was also much higher than those published about Kardashian's pictures.

According to Topsy, in the 24 hours since the Philae craft landed on the comet - which happened 12 hours after the Paper images were published - tweets mentioning "Kardashian" or #breaktheinternet totalled 307,000 with a negative sentiment score of 43.

Contrasting that, tweets mentioning "comet" or #cometlanding totalled almost 480,000 with a positive sentiment score of 64.

Looking at individual tweets, it was Kim Kardashian's tongue-in-cheek tweet announcing publication of her pictures which was the most retweeted, with over 45,000 reposting it and 49,000 favouriting it

By contrast, the official ESA Rosetta Mission Twitter account announcing the touchdown of the Philae lander garnered just 19,000 retweets and 9,700 favourites.

The sentiment score is an arbitrary one used by Topsy to reflect how people feel about particular trending topics with a score of 50 being neutral. It doesn't however take into account humorous tweets, and there were many of those relating to the pictures of Kardashian.

The graphics below (from Twitter Reverb) give an indication of how interest in the two related hashtags waxed and waned over time: