Twitter has revealed the most popular tweets of 2013, providing a unique retrospective of the year in 140 characters.
In a list described as Golden Tweets, it showed that celebrity news is still the most talked-about topic on the social media platform. The most shared single post of the year came from the actress Lea Michele, thanking users for their support after the death of her co-star and partner Cory Monteith.
That message alone was retweeted a staggering 408,266 times, Twitter said. It was closely followed by a tweet from the official profile of the Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker, confirming his death on 1 December, in a post also shared just over 400,000 times.
The year’s most retweeted posts were not all about losses, however – as an incredibly popular message from One Direction’s Niall Horan saying “Yesss! I’m 20!” shows. Twitter said that “ behind-the-scenes perspectives and personal updates” from the band were always widely shared by fans across the globe.
As well as the most popular individual tweets of the year, the company has also revealed what it said were 2013’s most talked-about topics. Among them was the welcoming of a new pope in March, which at its peak was the subject of more than 130,000 tweets a minute.
Cristina Kirchner, the president of Argentina, received more than 7,000 retweets after posting an image of the letter she received announcing the appointment of her compatriot Pope Francis.
According to the Year On Twitter profile (@YearOnTwitter), more than 27 million tweets were sent discussing the Boston Marathon bombings on 15 April. They included the news breaking from The Boston Globe, and images of the blast and its aftermath.
With the popularity of “second screening” – users tweeting along to major televised events and programmes – big sporting occasions have also received huge coverage across social media this year.
Featuring a star performance from Beyonce and a dramatic power outage, the Super Bowl in the US generated more than 24 million tweets, while almost 5 million posts were written about the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Other highlights in terms of breaking news covered on the social media site included the London helicopter crash in January, the death of Margaret Thatcher in April and the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in May.
In July the Wimbledon final, royal baby and #MalalaDay were the most-discussed topics, and August saw almost 2 million people tweet about the final of US TV show Pretty Little Liars.
The salvaging of the Costa Concordia was big news on Twitter in September, alongside coverage of the Australian election, as the eventual winner Tony Abbott wrote: “Today we can deliver real change.”
The typhoon hitting the Philippines dominated headlines and news feeds in November, while this month so far the hottest topics have been the World Cup draw, the Ashes, and of course the death of Nelson Mandela.
For the full list of tweets that made the 2013 Year on Twitter, see 2013.twitter.com
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