Twitter has had a big year – there is no doubt about that. It finally made that step from the early adopters and social enthusiasts to the mainstream and dropped its reputation as the place to find out what a celebrity had for breakfast (although you cans till do that). 2011 was the year that saw the Arab Springs – a series of events that were aided in both organisation and reporting through the social mediums of Facebook and Twitter, as well as the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the London riots, the death of Osama Bin Laden, NATO action in Libya and most recently the death of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. All of these events unfolded live on Twitter – and showed the world how useful and always connected short-form communication tool can be.
Whilst Google’s most searched for terms trend towards celebrity names and gossip, here’s what Twitter users were talking about:
Most Popular Hashtags 2011:
Most Talked About World News Stories:
- Mubarak’s resignation
- Raid on Osama bin Laden
- Japanese earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster
- Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords
- Gaddafi’s death
- Swine Flu outbreak
Twitter has also done lists of the most talked about actors, actresses, TV shows, music and other gossip – but its leading hashtag is important, as was the number ten. The Arab Springs have been both monumentally important to the politics of the region and the world, but they have also changed the face of protest, change and reporting in our lives.