What happened on Twitter this year? If you follow @VergeCoffee, you're probably already caught up on the internet's true cultural zeitgeist. But Twitter has also done the extremely tedious work of weeding through the world's tweets to recap what people were tweeting about. What's more, the company also cajoled a bunch of celebrities into sharing tweets they liked or thought were important, as well as five Twitter users each one thinks you should follow.
So what was the big thing that happened on Twitter this year? It was the Ellen Degeneres selfie at the Oscars, of course. It broke Twitter and its record for retweets (one that still stands). Twitter dubbed it the "golden tweet," an honor that was bestowed on Glee's Lea Michele last year for her tweet about the death of co-star and partner Cory Monteith.
If only Bradley's arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars pic.twitter.com/C9U5NOtGap— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
Two airplane disasters and umbrellas in Hong Kong
Some of the top moments for the year — according to the use of hashtags — were sporting events that only crop up every four years like the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the World Cup in Brazil. Social activism including Hong Kong's "umbrella revolution," Ferguson, and the #bringbackourgirls campaign (which pressured US troops into searching for 276 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped), all stood out. As did disasters like the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, and the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 in March. Twitter has curated some of the top tweets about these things for posterity, though notably missing from the entire list is Gamergate, whose hashtag has its own Wikipedia record.
As for the celebrity endorsements, which Twitter calls "perspectives," the company managed to get a cross section of movie stars, musicians, authors, and even royalty like the Duke of York to list their top five moments in tweet form, as well as five people to follow. That's as opposed to listing new celebrities or otherwise noteworthy individuals who joined the service, something Twitter stopped doing in its annual roundups last year. This year's list is people like Robert Downey Jr., Lady Gaga, J.K. Rowling, and Tim Howard.
You can see this year's collection here. Twitter also continues to preserve the annual project going back to 2010.