This year, not unlike last, has been a unique one for us Down Under but our sense of humour, and shared love of sport were a few of the things that got us through together.
Twitter is focused on serving the public conversation, while connecting people with the communities, and conversations they care about most. From COVID to Tokyo2020 to March4Justice to Squid Game, we saw these conversations come to life on the platform. And if there was one sign that some form of normality was resuming, even though #COVID was (or is) very much part of our everyday lives, it’s that after being knocked from the top spot for the first time ever last year, #auspol is back at the pole position for top hashtags of 2021.
A Nation that Values Humour
As we reflect through the year, 2021 has been the year of memes for Aussies. There were more than 3.6 million meme-related Tweets in Australia this year, with many of us using them to find humour in trying times. August, the month when most of Australia went back into lockdown, was also our most meme’d month. Our favourite meme is the classic “When you…” format. This could explain why 😂 is our most used emoji.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi
Throughout the year, Aussies showed just how much we love to connect over sport of all kinds. Three of our top 10 most Tweeted hashtags are sport related, with #Tokyo2020 being the most popular. With half of the country watching from lockdown, our national representatives competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games brought us together as a country, as we cheered for them during the various sporting events. Australians were glued to their TV for every serve, goal, and medal, while using their phones as a second screen to connect to other sport fans via Twitter - not a moment missed.
Flag bearer @Patty_Mills was one of our top most mentioned athletes along with fellow competitors @AshBarty, @SamKerr1, @NickKyrios, and Boomers teammate, @JoeIngles7.
As the State of Origin was played outside of QLD or NSW for the first time ever, we saw #NRL climb the ladder as the second most Tweeted hashtag within the sport category, ranking higher than #AFL.
Staying Connected Even in Lockdown
Lockdowns are never easy, but that did not stop people from putting their differences aside and reaching out to those in need. During these trying times, Aussies turned to Twitter to find the latest developments about COVID-19, and to show support for those around them. People also took the opportunity to share their personal experiences in lockdown, including how they continued to juggle homeschooling and working from home. It has been humbling to see people using Twitter as a real-time mental health and wellbeing helpline.
People all over Australia Tweeted about #lockdown6 as Victorians took out the world record — the longest number of days in lockdown. #Melbourne was one of our trending hashtags as the rest of the country Tweeted their support.
Squid Game was definitely a show that got everyone talking; it comes as no surprise that it was one of our top trending moments this year. No one will look at a track suit or a pair of white sneakers the same way again! When it came to what we watched all year long, some of our Aussie favourites #MAFS, #MasterChefAU, #SurvivorAU, and #TheBlock were in our top 10 most Tweeted about entertainment hashtags.
Like much of the world, we continue to be captivated by K-pop sensation @BTS_twt who is our most Tweeted about celebrity (or in this case celebrity group), followed by @BLACKPINK. #BTS also made it in our top hashtags for the year, taking out the third spot. Culturally, we have seen the phenomenal rise of K-pop across the world, but this trend is not new on Twitter as we have experienced the growth in conversation first-hand. Other music sensations such as @TaylorSwift13 and @LilNasX also made an appearance in our top 10 most mentioned people.
Activism & Cultural Events on Twitter
Australians are highly engaged activists, and are passionate about causes close to their hearts. Australian of the year @TamePunk (AKA Grace Tame) was most mentioned, followed by @GretaThunberg. With Greta’s climate change activism, and @DanIlic’s recent proactive efforts, we saw #COP26 rise to one of our most Tweeted about hashtags for the year.
Another key conversation that we saw on the platform was around NAIDOC Week 2021. This year there were over 23,500 Tweets celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with #NAIDOC2021 being the top hashtag used in the conversation.
Although the year was arduous, there were plenty of bright moments as well. One of those bright spots was @JoshJoshBegosh, a young man from Perth who started a Twitter account to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy. Within two weeks he gained more than 10k followers, who he has been meeting offline and sharing his story with. Josh is truly making a difference by inviting people into his world.
In addition to that, as a nation we embraced Josh Cavello when he shared his story to the world, becoming the world’s only openly gay male professional footballer. His announcement led to an outpouring of support from across the world.
We dare say that’s a wrap for 2021 but there’s still a few weeks left and, if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that anything could happen and the public conversation will be on Twitter! #OnlyOnTwitter