Twitter looks back on the big moments of 2012

Review includes most tweeted moments, the biggest events and the top trends of the year

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
December 11, 2012
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There are only a few weeks left to 2012, and so the looking back industry is in full swing. We have gotten the top Bing searches, the most popular questions from Ask, and the top Yahoo searches.

And now Twitter released its 2012 Year on Twitter Monday, in order to remind us of all the big moments that we all tweeted about over the last 12 months.

Twitter has broken the year down into five different categories:

  • 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 top tweet of the year was the picture of President Obama hugging Michelle, put out on election night, as he won another four years in the White House. The photo was retweeted over 810,000 times, and favorited over 300,000 times.

The second biggest tweet was the one from Justin Beiber when he Tweeted his condolences regarding Avalanna Routh, a young girl who died of brain cancer, which was retweeted over 220,000 times and favorited more than 100,000 times.

  • The pulse of the planet: Some of the biggest conversations of the year that generated large numbers of Tweets and Retweets.

These include the Summer Olympics, the U.S. election, the MTV Video Music Awards, and Superstorm Sandy.

  • 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. 

These include live tweets as the Curiosity rover made its descent onto Mars, live images of Sandy from space, the journey of the space shuttle Endeavour’s final ride, and BBC Middle East Bureau Chief Paul Danahar reporting on killings in Syria.

  • 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. 

Some of the top terms were #teaparty, #Romney, family guy, #nfl, jeremy lin, Dark Knight Rises The Vow, nicki minaj, coachella, iphone, draw something, #syria, china, and afghanistan.

  • New voices: From the Pope to Pelé, this year Twitter welcomed new voices from every corner of the world. 

Some of the other big names to join this year included Steve Carell, Matt Lauer, Chelsea Clinton, Niel Young, Brett Favre, VP candidate Paul Ryan and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“Every day, we’re amazed and humbled by the many ways in which people use Twitter, which range from simply retweeting to igniting conversations with hashtags (even around lesser-known topics) to sharing spectacular and far-flung views,” Karen Wickre, Editorial Director at Twitter, wrote in a blogpost.

“In 2012, everyone on Twitter brought us closer to moments and places that used to be far away or inaccessible: A Tweet from the bottom of the ocean. Tweets from Mars. An extraordinary view from space of Superstorm Sandy. A quiet backstage moment with a presidential candidate. All of these and millions of other such moments were ours to experience directly wherever we were, in the midst of work or play or travel.”

In addition to giving users the overall year in Twitter, the social network has also teamed up with Vizify to give each user their own personal year in Twitter review. Try it here.

Check out this video produced that Twitter produced to sum up the year that was:

(Image source:

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