2020 was a unique year for everyone, which means conversation on Twitter was unique too. As the world grappled with a global pandemic, Indians took to Twitter to stay informed, connected and entertained while talking about their passions, re-discovering interests and having diverse conversations.
Needless to say, #Covid19 dominated this year with people on Twitter seeking reliable information, connecting with experts and following what was happening in real-time. The conversations on the service revolved around multiple Coronavirus-related topics, including the critical need to #WearAMask. Within the larger conversation about COVID-19, hashtags used prominently included #Coronavirus, #JantaCurfew as well as those that encouraged people to #StayHomeStaySafe and maintain #SocialDistancing. Other popular topics of conversation included the adverse impact on migrant workers as well as gratitude for healthcare professionals across the country.
This year also brought a sense of gratitude for our frontline workers. Tweets expressing being grateful or thankful increased by 20% globally, with a particular recognition of doctors (+135%) and teachers (+30%).
Beyond #Covid19, fans paid tribute to #SushantSinghRajput and his career, and denounced the alleged rape of a young Dalit woman in #Hathras. People talked about movements taking place across the country, lending their voices to #StudentLivesMatter, #ShaheenBagh and #FarmersProtest, making those the most Tweeted about people’s movements this year.
In a time where everyone sought to be entertained on the internet, Twitter was the go-to destination for sports chatter with #IPL2020, #WhistlePodu and #TeamIndia becoming the most Tweeted hashtags in sports. Movies and TV were no less. Globally, there were more than 7,000 Tweets per minute about TV and movies this year. In India, Hindi film #DilBechara, Tamil film #SooraraiPottru and Telugu film #SarileruNeekevvaru were the most Tweeted about films to release this year, and people took a minute to laugh at the relatability of #Binod, making it the most Tweeted meme.
People connected virtually and yet, more intimately. From re-discovering interests such as #Photography, #Yoga and #Poetry, to throwing back to a different time and getting nostalgic with conversations about #Ramayan, #Pokiri and #Mahabaharat, audiences took to the service giving rise to diverse conversations from the tedious to the unexpected.
#ThisHappened: Golden Tweets of 2020
*Methodology: Identified based on the total number of Retweets / Likes / Quote Tweets by Twitter accounts in India between Jan 1 to Nov 15, 2020.
Most Retweeted Tweet: Vijay’s selfie with his fans from February 2020, celebrated the strong connection that Tamil stars have with their community on Twitter.
Vijay’s Tweet of a selfie with his fans in Neyveli in February was widely loved and shared by fans of Tamil cinema across the country. Over the years, film fans from Tamil cinema have actively taken to Twitter to show their love and support for their favourite superstars and Tweet about what’s happening in the world of entertainment. 2020 was no different.
Most Retweeted Tweet in Politics: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tweeted about lighting lamps of hope and good health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his '9 PM-9 Mins' public address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested people of India to light lamps from the safety of their homes as a symbolic gesture of solidarity towards one other. This Tweet became the most Retweeted Tweet by a politician.
Most Retweeted Tweet in Sports: M.S. Dhoni expressed appreciation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter
Cricketer M.S Dhoni shared his gratitude on Twitter, thanking Prime Minister Modi for sending him a letter that appreciated his achievements and contribution to cricket in India. The Tweet was met with applause from sports fans across the nation making it the most Retweeted Tweet by an athlete.
Most Retweeted Tweet in Business: Ratan Tata pledged support to communities affected by COVID-19
Business tycoon Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts, announced a commitment of 500 crore rupees on behalf of the company towards protecting and empowering communities affected by the pandemic. The initiative was widely appreciated and served as a reminder to every Indian to stay united in the fight against COVID-19.
Virat Kohli’s Tweet that announced Anushka Sharma’s pregnancy became the ‘Most Liked Tweet of 2020’ as people across India shared their love and wishes with the couple. Anushka Sharma’s Tweet celebrating the same news was also in the top 5 most Liked Tweets of the year.
Most Quoted Tweet: Amitabh Bachchan shared his diagnosis of COVID-19 and spread awareness about the virus
On testing COVID-19 positive, Amitabh Bachchan took to the service to share his news. He also requested people who had been in close proximity to him to get tested, spreading awareness about the virus and shared measures to be taken in case of exposure. Those that Quote-Tweeted his Tweet wished him a speedy recovery and encouraged people to stay safe, wash their hands and wear their masks.
Most Tweeted emojis: When words fall short, people turn to emojis. Here is the list of the most Tweeted emojis on Twitter in India this year.