From news and entertainment to sports and politics, if it happened anywhere in 2016, it happened on Twitter. Over 11,000 athletes from across the globe competed at #Rio2016. Elections and political movements played out in real time. And thousands of people stopped traffic every day for weeks while searching for Zubats.
We’ve launched #ThisHappened so people can share the biggest moments and memories of 2016.
Twitter in the UK
Twelve months ago no-one would have predicted Leicester winning the Premier League, Wales leaving England in their wake as they stormed to the semi-finals of #Euro2016, and the United Kingdom voting to leave the EU.
But they’re the events that set Twitter alive in the UK with billions of Tweets debating the hows, the whys and the whats of a roller-coaster year. Below we’ve rounded up the most memorable moments of 2016…
Most-Tweeted UK Moments
Every year we round up the 10 single moments that caused the biggest spikes in Twitter activity. With @TeamGB’s gold medal rush at #Rio2016, Leicester’s unthinkable @PremierLeague success and England/Wales grabbing #Euro2016 headlines for very different reasons, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Sport dominates our 2016 top 10:
Off the pitch, however, it was relentless political debate that defined 2016. From @RealDonaldTrump’s presidential victory against @HillaryClinton, to the UK’s exit from the European Union, it was a turbulent year in politics.
Here are the ten political trends that gained the most traction on Twitter in 2016:
Whether you were #VoteLeave or #VoteRemain, it cannot be denied that #Brexit gripped the world. It was the debate that split the nation in two, and throughout 2016 we saw people coming to Twitter to discuss the key policies & individuals at the heart of the decision.
Here are the ten Brexit trends that got people Tweeting over the course of the year:
The three most Retweeted Tweets globally in 2016 have racked up more than 2.5 million Retweets between them. One Direction star @Harry_Styles brings a UK flavour to the top three, and he’s in good company amongst @HillaryClinton and Spanish gamer El Rubius (@Rubiu5):
Meanwhile, Leicester City’s victory Tweet moments after they became Premier League champions was the most-Retweeted sport related Tweet sent globally in 2016:
Most-Tweeted Videos / GIFs
Video on Twitter is more popular than ever - increasing by a mighty 220x in the last year. From cats to cows, and Christian Fuchs to One Direction, the UK’s 10 most Retweeted videos of 2016 are:
2016 was also the year that GIF search launched on Twitter, giving people even more ways to express themselves - and they didn’t disappoint. Here are the 10 most Retweeted GIF Tweets of the year:
One Direction may be on a hiatus, but that hasn’t affected @Harry_Styles’s popularity on Twitter this year. With nearly 30 million followers, Harry is the most followed UK individual, closely followed by @Adele.
Our top 10 have around 200 million followers between them:
2016 was a year in which a number of famous faces sadly passed away. From the moment the tragic news broke on Twitter, communities began to unite in their millions to pay respects.
We leave you with a selection of moving tributes to these greats, whose work will always be remembered.
David Bowie, 1947-2016
Victoria Wood, 1953-2016
Alan Rickman, 1946-2016