| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES The Oscars gave the online community a lot to talk about on Sunday, as the number of social media comments about Hollywood's biggest night more than tripled from last year in a sign that viewers connected with the show.
This year's Academy Awards had the Web buzzing about Meryl Streep's first Oscar victory since 1983, the dangerously cut neckline of singer-actress Jennifer Lopez's dress and the striking resemblance that French producer Thomas Langmann was said to bear to the late actor Peter Lorre.
The Internet-tracking firm Bluefin Labs counted 3.4 million Oscar-related comments on Facebook and Twitter, up from 966,00 for the 2011 Academy Awards telecast.
Those numbers are likely to be significant for Oscar producers, who could point to viewers' higher level of social media engagement to win greater advertising revenues for next year's show.
"It was pretty big and pretty healthy growth from last year," said Tom Thai, vice president of marketing for the Massachusetts-based Bluefin Labs.
The Oscar celebrity most often mentioned by social media commentators on Sunday night, according to Bluefin, was Streep.
The 62-year-old actress won the third Academy Award of her career for her role as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."
"BY FAR the best #Oscars acceptance speech belonged to Meryl Streep!," tweeted celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
Langmann, though far less famous than Streep, nevertheless became a top-trending topic on Twitter when he appeared on stage to claim the best picture Oscar for "The Artist" and drew comparisons to Lorre, who appeared in such classic films as "Casablanca" and "The Maltese Falcon."
"The fact that the producer of 'The Artist' looks exactly like Peter Lorre somehow makes this all worthwhile," wrote one viewer with the Twitter handle Kateyrich.
J.LO SETS TONGUES TWEETING
Lopez also set Twitter aflutter when she appeared on stage with Cameron Diaz to present awards for costume design and best makeup. Many viewers were convinced that Lopez, whose dress revealed a considerable amount of cleavage, had exposed part of her left nipple.
But other commentators were just as adamant in disputing the notion that Lopez had suffered any actual wardrobe malfunction.
Meanwhile, actress Angelina Jolie's red-carpet pose with her leg conspicuously exposed -- a stance she repeated while presenting an award -- inspired one Twitter user to create an account under the handle @AngiesRightLeg and to send out mock posts purportedly from the limb. "I'm a leg, get a load of me!!," the user wrote.
Although "The Artist" claimed the best picture Oscar, it was Martin Scorsese's rival nominee, "Hugo" -- another homage to the film industry's silent era -- that ranked as the most mentioned film in that category, according to Bluefin Labs.
Another online research firm Visible Measures said "Hugo" had generated a total of 2.2 million views of online trailers and clips from the film since it received its Oscar nomination on January 24. Nevertheless, "Hugo" has generated only $69 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada, compared to $170 million grossed by another best picture nominee, "The Help."
Matt Fiorentino, spokesman for Visible Measures, said some Oscar viewers treat online trailers as a way to stay informed about nominated films so they can talk about them with friends.
"If you can't get to the movie theater, it's the next best thing," Fiorentino said.
(Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Steve Gorman)