The numbers are in. Over 25 billion tweets were sent in 2010, and Twitter has analyzed these tweets and organized them into the top categories as the overall top 10 Twitter trends. Twitter has broken out the top trending topics into eight categories: News Events, People, Movies, Television, Technology, World Cup, Sports, and Hashtags.
Twitter’s list indicates what we were interested in during the course of the year and what the buzz was online. It should be noted that this is a result of social media rather than the search engine information compiled from Google’s top search results list of 2010 and Yahoo’s recently released year in review.
The twittersphere was abuzz with concerns related to two tragic issues in 2010, the Haiti Earthquake and the Gulf oil spill dominated the news events category on a global level. The FIFA World Cup was the most popular sports discussion uniting the world with a sense of community and introducing the word vuvuzelas into our vocabulary. Outside of the world cup discussions on Twitter, Lebron James earned top billing. Lebron wisely leveraged social media by creating a huge buzz and audience by joining Twitter and amassing 250,000 followers in 24 hours and making a huge announcement about his NBA team choice.
The world was captivated for a couple of months by the psychic octopus Paul. Intrigued by the feeding behavior of Paul the octopus that was used to correctly predict the winner of all seven of Germany’s matches in the 2010 World Cup, including the outcome of the final match. His fame landed him in Twitter’s top 10 overall trending topics, but unfortunately not before he passed away on October 26, 2010 in Germany.
Past these global events, the rest of the Twitter conversations were about technology and entertainment. The battle of Google vs. Apple was waged on Twitter, with the Apple iPad landing one spot ahead of the Google Android. It will be interesting to see how this changes with the advent of tablets designed on the Android platform in 2011 and new developments for the iPad. Christopher Nolan’s Inception and the latest in the Harry Potter series were the top movies overall and the teen sensation, Justin Bieber rounded out the rest of the overall top trends.
The top movies on Twitter don’t exactly line up with the box office results, seeing that Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland raked in over $1 billion, making them the fifth and sixth highest grossing films ever, but didn’t even make the top ten list for movies on Twitter. However, the number 3 and 4 box office movies do take slots 1 and 2 on Twitter’s list, Inception and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. Interestingly enough, however, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World took third place on Twitter, but is being labeled one of the biggest bombs of the year at the box office, earning almost half of its $10 million in its opening night. Apparently the internet hype did not help at the box office for this film, which must be a huge disappointment for the film’s director, Edgar Wright, given the $60 million budget.
Scandal and intrigue kept the tweets coming about the top people on Twitter, from the Bieber-obsessed to the Lagy Gaga loyal, to the recent scandal associated with Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Interpol and the Hacktivists operating under the label Operation Payback. Much as we would assume that Princess Diana would have been a continual trending topic if Twitter were available during her lifetime, the recent engagement of Prince Williams and Kate Middleton making the list is digital confirmation. From the news of their engagement to the location of the wedding and news of engagement pictures, the world is clamoring to suck the romance right out of this fairytale engagement.
The network wars are as apparent on Twitter as in any other form. From HBO’s True Blood to AMC’s Walking Dead to Fox’s favorite, Glee, and Family Guy to ABC’s Pretty Little Liars and CBS still has buzz out there surrounding their veteran CSI, there is no true network winner on Twitter. With two popular shows making the list, it appears Fox may be looking for another successful season, after their best year of all time in 2009. Award shows account for 40% of the conversation about what we were watching on Television in 2010, ranging from award shows for the Grammys, the MTV music awards, MTV Movie Awards, and the American Music Awards.
In the Technology category, Apple is the clear winner with four of their products making the list. Starting with the Apple iPad making the top of the list, to the iPhone and their Apple iOS Operating System and ending with the newly unveiled MacBook Air.
So the lesson here is that while you may not care about what is being said on Twitter, you should. The trending topics are turning into dollars, with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber selling the most albums, Twitter topics topping the box office, to Google Android and Apple tech gadgets selling record numbers, ticket sales from sporting events, and charitable donations of $33 million tied to issues of global concern. Don’t you want your piece of the pie for 2011?
Want to turn back the calendar even further? Check out what we were talking about in 2009 on Twitter.