It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In today’s modern age of social media, the same concept applies to a Tweet–even though this Twitter trademark can only be composed of up to 140 characters.
If the words “Tweet” and “Twitter” sound like child’s gibberish to you, then it is very possible you have been living out in the woods with no access to technology for the past 7 or so years. Twitter is a social media platform founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams (no relation to the whiskey). Twitter allows people to connect and share thoughts and ideas, in posts called “Tweets” which consist of up to 140 characters. Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media platforms around, with over 230 million users, Tweeting over 500 million times a day in more than 35 languages.
In fact, Twitter is now used not only by the general public, but also by advertisers, businesses, celebrities, and even the news! Because Twitter functions as a real-time conversation platform where people can instantly comment and share their thoughts on events around the world, looking back at trending Tweets is a great way to gauge popular world events and people’s reactions to them. Let’s take a look at the top 10 Tweets of the past 4 years.
Twitter has become such a prevalent part of today’s media that even the President of the United States has his own Twitter account. With over 500,000 retweets, President Barack Obama won the Golden Tweet Award of 2012 with his simple “Four more years” Tweet, announcing his victory in his re-election.
2. Wendy’s – 2011 – 220,000 Re-Tweets
RT for a good cause. Each retweet sends 50¢ to help kids in foster care. #TreatItFwd
— Wendy's (@Wendys) June 15, 2011
Corporations have begun to turn to Twitter to promote their businesses, advertise, announce deals and events, and much more. Wendy’s took things a step further, announcing via Twitter that they would donate 50 cents per each retweet towards children in foster care. The result was impressive, with over $50,000 donated, and one of the most popular tweets to date.
3. Stephen Colbert – 2010 – 41,000 Re-Tweets
in honor of oil-soaked birds, 'tweets' are now 'gurgles. http://bit.ly/cIhZNf
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) June 17, 2010
The younger generation these days has an interesting trend when it comes to where they receive their news. Rather than reading the news paper or watching CNN, young adults of today turn to online outlets and “spoof” news media shows such as The Colbert Report for their updates on world events. Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report gives us evidence of these, when his tweet regarding the tragic oil spill in the Gulf was retweeted thousands of times, earning him the first ever Golden Tweet Award.
4. Justin Bieber – 2012 – Over 200,000 Re-Tweets
RIP Avalanna. i love you
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 26, 2012
Celebrities are often among the most followed and retweeted on Twitter, and pop sensation Justin Bieber is no exception. Fans have watched this artist grow from a Youtube sensation to selling out multiple live performances at Madison Square Garden in just a few short years. Bieber made it on to this list with his heartwarming Tweet mourning the death of a fan with terminal cancer, Avalanna.
Fuck it NFL.. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.
— TJ Lang (@TJLang70) September 25, 2012
Every football fan will recall the infamous 2012 match between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, where a hotly disputed call by a replacement referee caused an uproar and controversy among NFL fans. The NFL was currently dealing with the professional referees being on strike, which made many fans contend the “unofficial” referee’s game changing call. TJ Lang was not alone when he Tweeted about this event. He was joined by millions of Twitter accounts around the world.
6. Kim Kardashian – 2011 – 68,000 Re-Tweets
A 15 year old girl who is terminal w/ cancer has made a bucket list. 1 of her wishes is to trend on Twitter. Give a RT #alicebucketlist
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) November 27, 2011
In 2011, Kim Kardashian showed us another way that Twitter can touch the lives of millions, by reaching out to fans to help a girl with cancer reach a goal on her bucket ist.
Manny Pacquiao I'm calling you out let's fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) January 10, 2012
In January of 2012, boxing fans will recall championship boxer Floyd Mayweather challenging fellow boxer Manny Pacquiao to a match over twitter. Fans of both boxers went wild with over 90,000 retweets and 50,000 favorites.
Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support. Cory will forever be in my heart. pic.twitter.com/XVlZnh9vOc
— Lea Michele (@msleamichele) July 29, 2013
In July of 2013, actress Lea Michele of the popular TV show Glee reached out to her fans, thanking them for their support after the death of a fellow cast member, showing how Twitter can bring together a community spread across the world.
29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze – We finished 3rd in medal table after most successful Olympics for 104 years #OurGreatestTeam RT your support
— Team GB (@TeamGB) August 12, 2012
In August of 2012, fans of Great Britain around the world were able to share in celebrations after one of the best performances at the Summer Olympics the country has seen in decades.
I'm so 22 right now.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 13, 2011
Popular country singer and pop idol Taylor Swift shared in the celebration of her 22nd birthday with fans from around the world via Twitter in a Tweet which poked fun at her hit single 22, saying “I’m so 22 right now.
As we can see, Twitter has become much more than just a social networking platform. It is a tool which individuals and companies alike can use to spread and share their ideas. It is a way for people to connect instantaneously and share their thoughts with followers on the other side of the globe.