The North-o-Meter, which features questions such as "when did you last eat chips and gravy", has notched up more than 1.1 million comments on Facebook, almost 1 million likes and 41,000 Twitter shares since being published on Friday (8 November).
Figures from Howmanyshares.com. Correct at noon on 12 November
The interactive, which took a day-and-a-half to create, has been clicked on by more than 3.6 million people, Malcolm Coles, digital product director at Trinity Mirror told Journalism.co.uk today, with up to 20,000 people playing the game at any one time.
When I went to bed, 20,000 people were playing the @Usvsth3m northometer game. I wake up and 15,800 people are playing it. Blimey.— malcolm coles (@malcolmcoles) November 9, 2013
To put the figures in perspective, the New York Times Snow Fall multimedia feature which was published a year ago, had received 2.9 million uniques six days after launch, with 22,000 users visiting at any given time. A year on and it has had a total of 35,000 Facebook shares and 1,300 Twitter shares, according to Howmanyshares.com.
The North-o-Meter was published by Trinity Mirror's internal start-up UsVsTh3m, which launched just six months ago and aims to create "topical funny stuff for mobile".
In September it reported that it had reached 1 million monthly visitors, and in October this was up to 2.5 million uniques. So far this month, UsVsTh3m has had more than 4.9 million unique visitors.
Other successful interactives – or toys as the team at UsVsTh3m calls them – include: Can you find Damascus on a Map? How much are you hated by the Daily Mail? Are you down with the kids?
The mobile-first site does not currently carry advertising but has the potential for sponsored content, those behind the site have said.
Rob Manuel, editor of UsVsTh3m, told Journalism.co.uk how the idea for the North-o-Meter came about. A member of the six-person UsVsTh3m team had done a piece on moving from Sheffield to London which demonstrated that the north/south divide is a talking point. The team kicked off by sharing ideas in a Google spreadsheet and then opened up the conversation on Twitter.
"It's an organic, collaborative process," Manuel told us.
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