It helps when you have a U.S. audience of 40 million-plus and a global audience numbering in the hundreds of millions (not the one billion often cited). Degeneres' tweeted image, shown above, included the caption:
If only Bradley's arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscarsIt all started somewhat more conservatively, too, with Degeneres asking Meryl Streep to join in a selfie in an attempt to break the record. However, other celebrities piled on.
They included Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Channing Tatum, Kevin Spacey took part in the selfie. Also in the picture were this year's Supporting Actress Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong'o, and her brother.
The battle for top spot was over in less than an hour, as the tweet received over 921,000 retweets in less than 40 minutes. The Obama tweet, tweeted after the President won re-election, was passed at 7:41 p.m. PT (or thereabouts), as shown in this tweet.
The tweet became viral nearly immediately, and brought Twitter to its knees. Shortly after the picture was tweeted, Twitter experienced intermittent outages for about 20 minutes.
The big question is, will this become an annual thing, an attempt to pass the retweet record? Naturally, the odds of that happening hinge greatly on another question: Who will host the 2015 version of the Oscars?