The year 2012 has been a wild and zany roller coaster ride, and the ride isn’t even over yet because, y’know, there’s still the whole “end of the world” thing this 21st. While the year still has a few weeks left, Twitter thought it was high time to release a retrospective review of 2012’s highlights.
Throughout the year, the world’s attention was captured by the dreadful and the silly alike, from Whitney Houston’s sad demise to the oddly addictive music sensation Gangnam Style. There were positive stories as well, like the glory of the 2012 London Olympics. The social networks and search engines stood witness to all of humanity’s events, technological breakthroughs, viral videos, hashtags, and not to mention keywords we searched for.
Thanks to Twitter’s year in review, at least we can say this year wasn’t so bad after all, or was it?
Year On Twitter
The micro-blogging site teamed up with Vizify to recap Twitter’s 2012 biggest topics through a separate microsite called “Year On Twitter,” which is divided into five sections each focusing on different themes, namely new users, top conversations, top tweets, top trends and Twitter-specific moments.
Here’s a sneak peek of the gems you’ll find on the microsite. This quote is from Twitter’s official blog.
We’ve taken a look back at the Tweets of 2012 and use both data and editorial signals to showcase some of these moments and conversations around several themes:
- Golden Tweets: The top two Tweets that generated the most Retweets for the year, plus honorable mentions for a few others that caught attention around the world.
- The pulse of the planet: Some of the biggest conversations of the year that generated large numbers of Tweets and Retweets.
- Only on Twitter: Moments of serendipity and just plain awesomeness (if there is such a thing) are what we call #onlyontwitter. We list examples of Tweets that came to life organically on Twitter, and can be appreciated in an instant.
- Top trends: Lists of the significant Trends of the year in the U.S., UK and Japan. These phrases reveal what captured our attention based on sudden spike of interest, rather than what was consistently popular.
- New voices: From the Pope to Pelé, this year Twitter welcomed new voices from every corner of the world.
Politics was the biggest driver of tweets in 2012, and this comes as no surprise because Twitter has never been shy of expressing feelings on issues of national and global importance. Some tweeple even have political opinion battles. The U.S. presidential elections was heavily responsible for this dramatic rise in concern over politics.
In fact, this is the most retweeted tweet of all time:
Four more years. twitter.com/BarackObama/st…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
This particular tweet is filed under Year On Twitter’s Golden Tweets section and was posted in the wake of the 2012 U.S. presidential election by @BarackObama. It has been retweeted more than 800,000 times since then. That’s about 600,000 more than the second placer, Justin Bieber’s tweet for a fan who passed away:
RIP Avalanna. i love you
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 26, 2012
Twitter provides a unique opportunity to
stalk get in touch with famous celebrities, and one of the conversations listed under Only on Twitter is an exchange between political figure John Boehner and professional football player Chad Johnson. “@SpeakerBoehner Just read some of your tweets and you seem pretty angry kind sir. I can see you on tv but you’re not smiling. Hope you’re ok,” tweeted Johnson and to which Boehner replied, “@ochocinco: Thanks & good luck in the @SuperBowl; we’ll see you in the playoffs next year. Go #Bengals #WhoDey.” Just another example of how Twitter facilitates correspondence between people from inside and outside politics.
Politics wasn’t the only driver of activity in the Twitterverse this year, of course. The Pulse of the planet section lists events and conversations that attracted the most tweets and retweets. At the top of the list is the summer Olympics, which which generated an astounding 150 million tweets. It’s followed by the U.S. election, MTV Video Music Awards, the Super Bowl and Euro 2012.
Not all the top conversations brought laughter and pride, however. Frankenstorm Sandy draw in more than 20 million tweets, most of which were about the aftermath and the impact. Some also live tweeted their experience.
On February 11, news about superstar Whitney Houston’s unexpected passing broke. The entire world came together to share feelings of shock and grief, and Twitter was there for that tragic time. Ten million tweets came out of people’s phones, computers and other devices when news of the singer’s death surfaced.
Another upsetting huge news that made it to Year On Twitter is the controversial anti-piracy bill SOPA. The issue exploded so much that in just one day, mentions jumped from 106,000 to 3.5 million.
Twitter 2012 in a Video
Lastly, here’s something for your visual entertainment, a quick preview of the goodies you’ll find on Year On Twitter from the social network’s official YouTube channel.