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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Numbers

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Numbers

Much has been made of the phenomenon that is the ALS Ice Bucket challenge since its inception in June. The challenge has become a global movement of epic proportions and is a great example of how the internet and modern technology can facilitate change for the greater good.

While the movement has been criticised in many quarters for its apparent self-promoting motives as opposed to pure altruistic inspiration, it has undoubtedly taken the world by storm, and in the process raised a “bucket” load of cash for a fantastic cause.

The virality of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has reached epic proportions with constant clogging of Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines, but we aren’t complaining. Not only has ALS awareness been elevated and much needed cash raised, but there is also that slightly sadistic kick one gets from seeing a friend or family member suffer the discomforting sensation of the dreaded ice cold water.

Ice Bucket Challenge Statistics, Huskies Agency

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Statistics

It seems as though everyone has now taken part in some way shape or form, from Oprah to your auntie, and from Beckham to your best mate. Upon the back of our participation last week; we here at Huskies HQ wanted to delve into the social stats behind the movement. Here’s what we found…

Since June 1st there have been a total of 15.9 million mentions of the Ice Bucket Challenge on Twitter alone. Facebook’s stats are even more impressive however, a total of 28 million mentions for the same period.

From a user generated content perspective the Ice Bucket Challenge, as you would expect, has not only created viral content, but a lot of it. Since June 1st there have been 2.4 million users uploading videos on Facebook, 2 million users sharing content on Instagram and a total of 6.2 million videos have been uploaded to YouTube (the top 10 YouTube videos have been viewed over 98.2 million times).

Between June 1st and August 4th there was an average of 1,500 mentions per day of “Ice Bucket Challenge”. However, the movement was at is most viral thus far between August 18th and August 27th with daily average mentions of 1.6 million.

Ice Bucket Challenge: Charity Vs Self Promotion?

On an interesting note, 40.2% of mentions used the Hashtag #IceBucketChallenge while 26.7% used the hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge therefore giving some slight credence to the cynical claims that the challenge was not entirely motivated for the sole purpose of raising ALS awareness, or at least the reasoning was lost on some people.

Delving deeper into the social stats, focusing entirely on Ireland, it’s evident that the challenge has gripped the nation (not that you needed further poof). Since June 1st there have been 103,376 mentions of the Ice Bucket Challenge on Twitter, 52.4 thousand of which can be attributed to the last seven days. Dublin and Cork are the two most active counties accounting for 28.5% and 10.6% of mentions respectively.

Examining the trends within Google search, it’s apparent how popular the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is across our island. Our regional interest outranks that of the United Kingdom or even the United States over the last 90 days – that means that Ireland has been searching more for the Ice Bucket Challenge than any other country*.


Regional interest in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge *Per Capita

It’s important not to lose sight of the significance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – yes, it is a social media phenomenon and it is rather fun to see your bestie or a celebrity taking the plunge – but most importantly the awareness and funds it has raised for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and other equivalent groups across the globe are staggering.

On 27th of August it was announced that donations to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association had surpassed the €1.1 million mark – €850,000 of this was from €2 text contributions alone – a fantastic feat considering they have already smashed their yearly target with four months to spare. Check out our contribution below.


Written by Ciaran O’Connor.