Ahh, the year of 2012. When we think back, what will you be remembered for? The London Olympics? The U.S. presidential election? The NFL replacement refs debacle? These and more were featured on Twitter’s year-end review chronicling the biggest moments of 2012. The flashy report details everything from the posts with the highest re-tweets to the top trends to the famous users who finally caved and joined the site. It’s entertaining, but extensive, so we’ve picked out our favorite tidbits and compiled them below. Here are the top 10 things we learned on Twitter in 2012:
1. If the election came down to mentions, Mitt Romney would have won: “#romney” and “mitt romney” occupied the fourth and fifth spots on the Politics Trends list, whereas “#obama 2012” took 10th place. However, the most re-tweeted post (by far) of 2012 was President Barack Obama’s simple yet sweet acknowledge of his election victory:
That post was re-tweeted over 810,000 times by people in more than 200 countries. Talk about Klout.
2. People really like talking about football: “#nfl” beat out “#nascar,” “#mlb,” and — most surprsingly of all — “#olympics.” The New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots saw 201,466 tweets per minute at its peak (when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw an incomplete pass — ha! — and sealed the Giants’ win — can you tell who I’m a fan of?). Meanwhile, Green Bay Packer TJ Lang’s angry tweet about the replacement refs following the infamous poor call (here: watch it in slo-mo) in the final play of September’s game against Seattle garnered over 98,000 re-tweets.
3. Speaking of the Olympics, the Spice Girls need to get back together: It’s not that people didn’t care about the sporting aspect of London 2012, it’s just that the biggest spike in tweets came when the five ladies took the stage to perform together for the first time in forever, amassing 116,000+ TPM. Girl Power! But if you’re a fan of the actual Games, then Twitter suggests you check out the London Pool Cam, showcasing some of the finest bodies known to mankind. Phelps or Lochte, PopWatchers?
4. Forget The Weather Channel, Twitter’s got your craving for Superstorm Sandy porn covered: While downtown New York developed a whole new appreciation for The Hunger Games, astronauts like Sunita Williams tweeted images of the massive hurricane from space, keeping those without power (but with a fully charged smartphone) abreast of the weather situation. Between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1, users sent over 20 million tweets about the storm, while in the aftermath tweets mentioning the word “donate” reached a 180-day peak.
5. Cory Booker for Prez 2016: When the denizens of Newark started running out of food in the wake of Sandy, the mayor not only invited them to come stay with him, he also kept them fed with Hot Pockets. (Sorry guy with the ditch, that’s your problem.)
6. Of all the restaurants in all the world, Twitter users walk into IHOP: The breakfast eatery was the most-mentioned Food Trend on the social networking site, followed by Starbucks, Waffle House, McDonald’s, and — oddly enough — BBQ. Cheesecake pancakes for the win!
7. Panda voyeurism is a surprisingly popular pastime: The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. treated Twitter to a play-by-play of the artificial insemination of the 13-year-old panda Mei Xiang, allowing users to track the process with the hashtag #pandaAI. Poor Mei Xiang. All she wanted was some privacy.
8. Television nostalgia reigns supreme: Boy Meets World took 10th place in the TV Trends category, while Will Smith owned No. 9 with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But what old show did users most miss? Hey Arnold! Nickelodeon, time to bring our favorite football-headed hero back.
9. James Cameron holds the record for deepest tweet: And I don’t mean philosophically. The Avatar director mounted an expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean (and home to Mega Shark, I’m convinced). There, he sent a tweet from 35,755 feet beneath the sea. What provider is he on? I can’t get my 3G to work from inside the subway tunnels, let alone a fissure in the Earth seven miles below the surface of the ocean.
10. Patrick Stewart joined Twitter: And so did Homeland‘s Damian Lewis, Betty White, Adele, the Pope, and Ben Affleck, among others. But Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s handle puts him at the head of my list: @SirPatStew.
What were your favorite moments on Twitter this year?