The magazine publisher said the shoot, which featured Kristen Stewart, was the world's number one trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday 13 March while it was taking place in Los Angeles.
Elle magazine subscriptions are reported to have doubled as readers signed up for Kristen Stewart's special subscriber's issue while momentum continues to build amongst followers for the big reveal of the eventual issue which will go on sale in May.
The publisher also claims that the initiative generated so much excitement that its website, ELLEuk.com attracted its highest site traffic figures for more than two years, surpassing even traffic visits for ELLEuk.com's Royal Wedding coverage, with a 231% increase in global unique users, and a 218% page views percentage increase of traffic from Twitter and Facebook.
As highlighted in a recent Fipp report, this live, digital stream of a cover shoot is another example of the innovative ways that magazine publishers are using digital to boost the sales of print magazines.
Lorraine Candy, editor-in-chief of Elle, said: "Elle is known for being a ground breaking and pioneering brand which is why we chose to break with magazine tradition and disclose our cover star two months in advance of publication.
"This unique idea is testament to our integrated approach across Elle, ELLEuk.com and Twitter and one of the many new ideas we are working on as a team. We have pushed the boundaries to reap excellent rewards and will continue to do so as the brand evolves this year."