Every year, Twitter looks back to find the socially and culturally significant moments, but 2020 was uniquely challenging - how do we possibly recap a year where the unprecedented has become the norm?
Life for literally almost everyone has dramatically changed this year, and people across Asia and around the world have looked for comfort and connection wherever they could find it. To truly dive into what mattered, chart where the conversations were taking place and what people were talking about, we turned our attention to how we all got through it together: the ways we kept ourselves entertained, the changes we made, and the messages of support that we shared with each other.
While #covid19 and its numerous variations were unsurprisingly the top trend this year, the global pandemic also fundamentally changed the way we talked about so many other topics. It led to conversations and trends around the many things we did to keep ourselves going during 2020: from wellness and self-care, to finding myriad ways online to laugh and be entertained.
The year on Twitter in Asia Pacific continued to belong to our young millennial and GenZ audiences. Across APAC, we saw a range of different events that young people participated in discussions about, and helped to shape our future, like #bushfires, #farmerprotests, and #gagalkanomnibuslaw.
In 2020, people used Twitter to help make the change they wanted to see in the world, ranging from helping others, to encouraging them, inspiring them, or even just making them laugh. From bigger than life personalities, to everyday persons and interesting topics, our year-end lists will hopefully inspire you to join the real-life conversations on Twitter, too.
APAC’s most Tweeted Hashtags
While the pandemic occupied much of what we talked about, people also learned to take care of themselves, using Twitter as their platform. We did not forget to voice our concerns about our big-picture goals, either - like taking better care of the planet.
Most Tweeted news and current affairs-related hashtags in APAC
APAC, like the rest of the world, mobilised and amplified the need for equality and social justice with #blacklivesmatter. In this turbulent year, there were also many moments of young people across the region using their power on Twitter to build international bridges, as with #whatshappeninginthailand and voicing their ability to do so in some local elections.
Most Tweeted about politicians in APAC
Most Tweeted sports hashtags in APAC
In a year without many of the typical international sports competitions, cricket and football stayed at top-of-mind for sports fans in the region. The UEFA Champions League was one of the leagues that concluded its shortened season, stoking the interests of APAC football fans.
Most Tweeted entertainment hashtags in APAC
Beyond K-Pop, there was lots to see and appreciate across APAC. From new albums, movies, and TV seasons, to an anticipated New Year’s Eve concert of a longtime fan-favourite group, fans were eager to share their love for the entertainment that helped them through 2020.
Most discussed K-Pop accounts worldwide
Despite real-life concerts and other activities being cancelled this year, new content from the most-discussed #KPopTwitter accounts powered K-Pop Twitter conversations this year. From discussing BTS’s (@BTS_twt) BANGBANGCON to live Tweeting BLACKPINK’s (@BLACKPINK) feature-length documentary, K-Pop community on Twitter had lots to choose from.
APAC Golden Tweets
Pop superstar P!nk (@Pink) shared her condolences with Australia as it endured the bushfires, and announced she was donating $500,000 to fire relief.
Ratan N. Tata (@RNTata2000), the Chairman of Tata Trusts, committed 500 Crore Rupees (680,00,000 USD) to fight COVID-19 with a range of measures.
Animation studio Les Copaque (@lescopaque) created an apology video for its character Fizi, from hit show Upin and Ipin, and Malaysians replied and quoted to encourage Fizi, Retweeted to help spread Fizi’s message, and Liked to show their appreciation for the gesture and for Fizi.
Superstar Sam Smith (@samsmith) Tweeted a video of Filipino student Carl Malone Montecido singing Smith’s song, Too Good at Goodbyes, in awe at Montecido’s singing talents. Filipino Twitter proudly claimed Montecido, and heralded his inspiring singing and considerable talent, all while overcoming blindness.
2020 was full of sights that you don’t see every day, and @anqkhr’s Tweet added to that list with a video he captured of two rats fighting on an HDB void deck. Sometimes, all you need to get Likes and Retweets is a fun way to help people pass a few minutes.
Even though Thais have faced many challenges this year, people still managed to look on the lighter-side and Thai people’s passion for fun, never dimmed. มะเป้ง (@many_msn) Tweeted this video of a student dancing in class, not knowing that the teacher was stood behind her. The free-spritied nature of the student resonated with Thais.
2021 is going to be big: The return of major events and the comeback of global sports. Twitter is where the world will watch, discuss, and share in these experiences as they happen. Twitter has always been the place where everything happens, and we are excited to continue being a part of the key moments in 2021.
Join the #ThisHappened2020 conversation on Twitter right now using any of the hashtags listed below and you’ll see a fun emoji in your Tweet. Also check out our Twitter accounts in Asia Pacific which will spotlight the top local Twitter moments from the year.