By 12 December 2012 | Categories: news


Microblogging site Twitter has released its 2012 Year In Review report, detailing the top tweets and discussion-evoking events of the year. This year, the popular social networking destination opted to do things a little differently by focusing on specific themes for tweets. 

Golden Tweets

The first of these themes is Golden Tweets, which refers to the top two tweets that managed to garner the most retweets during 2012, plus a few honorable mentions that also caught the attention of users around the globe. Coming up tops is US President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) with his tweet, “Four more years” that was retweeted over 810 000 times.

Pop sensation Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) placed a very distant second (220 000+ retweets) courtesy of his tweet, “RIP Avalanna. i love you”. With this tweet Bieber was paying tribute to one of his fans, six-year-old Avalanna Routh, who passed away in September from a rare form of brain cancer.

The British Olympic team’s (@TeamGB) tweet: “29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze - We finished 3rd in medal table after most successful Olympics for 104 years #OurGreatestTeam RT your support” was one of the tweets that snagged an honorable mention after being retweeted more than 67 000 times.

Pulse of the planet

Next up, Twitter looked at the Pulse of the planet, which refers to 2012’s largest twitter conversations or events that generated the biggest amount of tweets and retweets.

Taking gold in this theme is the London 2012 Olympics, with the 16-day Summer Games managing to generate a staggering 150 million tweets. During the Games’ closing ceremony the tweets per minute (TPM) tally hit boiling point – more than 116 000 TPM – when the reunited Spice Girls took to the stage.

Coming in second is the US presidential election, with the first debates alone generating  ten million tweets, and more than 31 million tweets being posted during Election Day. The conversation on Twitter surrounding the election surged to 327 452 TPM when news organisations started tallying the results.

The final spot on the conversations podium was claimed by the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards as it delivered 14.7 million tweets, and a TPM climax of 98 307 when One Direction took home the award for Best Pop Video.

Trends and New voices

Trends refer to topics that provided a boost to Twitter conversations, and these trends have been broken down into categories such as conversation starters, politics, sports, movies, and tech. The most talked about movies (at least on Twitter) of the year were Think like a man, The Hunger Games, and The Avengers.
Coming up tops in the tech category was:
1. US telecommunications firm AT&T
2. iPhone
4. Microsoft-owned Skype
6. iPad
10. Apple  

New voices are the famous celebrities or prominent public figures who joined Twitter during 2012. These range from athletes such as Brazilian soccer legend Pelé ‏(@Pele) and religious leaders like Pope Benedict XVI (@Pontifex), through to TV personalities including Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson (@jcrclarksonesq).

Only on Twitter

The final theme is Only on Twitter and it refers to awe inspiring moments that includes the first tweet from Mars by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (@NASAJPL), who live-tweeted as the Curiosity Rover made its descent onto the Red Planet.

Some of the other moments are live photos captured by the International Space Station of Superstorm Sandy making its way to the US East Coast, as well as the deepest tweet. The latter was posted by movie director James Cameron when he undertook a dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first person to send a tweet from more than 10 km beneath the sea.

In related news, Twitter also recently added an email sharing feature for tweets and made Instagram-like photo filters available to its iOS- and Android-powered mobile device users.


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