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Obama, #London2012 and @Pontifex: The year on Twitter

Twitter has produced a special website documenting the way users have been tweeting over the past year including the most retweeted post in the site’s history.

TWITTER HAS BEEN keeping a close eye on what millions of tweeters worldwide have been getting up to this year and compiled ’2012 Year on Twitter’.

The new website has highlighted some of the biggest events of the year on the microblogging service which has over 500 million active users and handles over 350 million tweets on a daily basis.

Some of those tweets have been deemed ‘Golden Tweets’ for having generated the most retweets of the year.

You won’t be surprised to read that this touching picture of US President Barack Obama hugging his wife Michelle that was tweeted with the words ‘Four more years’ on the night of his re-election on 6 November was retweeted the most.

The tweet got a stunning 810,000+ retweets and according to Twitter is now the most retweeted tweet ever, sent by more than 200 countries around the world.

Falling far behind but no less important is a tweet from pop superstar Justin Bieber who on 26 September tweeted ‘RIP Avalanna. i love you’, paying tribute to six-year-old Avalanna Routh who had recently died from a rare form of brain cancer.

The tweet has 220,000 + retweets and included this touching picture of Biebs and his young fan before she died.

Credit: Avalanna Routh, on Twitter

Pulse of the planet

The biggest conversations of the year on Twitter centred on a number of major events.

Chief among them was the London Olympics or #London2012 which generated 150 million tweets with the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt or @UsainBolt being the most discussed athlete.

The US election was also popular with the first debate and Barack Obama’s significant stumble generating around 10 million tweets. Over thirty-one million tweets were sent about the election on Election Day itself.

Other discussions centred on sport with Euro 2012, the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Chelsea and the NFL Super Bowl generating plenty of chatter.

Not forgetting the sadder events of this year and Superstorm Sandy which had a devastating effect on the US east coast and before that, Central America and the Caribbean.

Between October 27 and November 1, there were more than 20 million tweets about Sandy’s impact and aftermath.


Twitter has also welcomed some new users this year including actor Steve Carell, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, Homeland star Damian Lewis, singer Neil Young, football legend Pelé, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, and singer Adele.

Not forgetting Pope Benedict XVI or @Pontifex who joined Twitter recently and is expected to send his first tweets today “on matters of faith” according to the Vatican.

For more visit the ’2012 Year On Twitter’ page.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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