Insights

Spending 2020 Together on Twitter

By Tracy McGraw
Monday, 7 December 2020

For over a decade, we’ve released a year in review report, recapping the trends, the moments, and the memes that dominated Twitter that year. But 2020 is different. The world saw heartbreaking loss but also tremendous courage. How do we possibly recap a year like this? By turning 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. If you’re over 2020, we get it; if you’re curious to see how the world conversed, coped, and even celebrated this year, read on for a brief tour through the Tweets of 2020. 

In the midst of everything that happened in the world this year, Twitter was the place where we came together to keep our sanity during quarantine, be forces of change, and yes, still jump in on the latest viral meme.

#ThisHappened on Twitter: 

The most Retweeted and top Liked Tweets of the year encapsulate the full spectrum of life in 2020: loss, contemplation, distraction, entertainment, and a dash of humor. The world mourned the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, making the Tweet announcing his tragic passing the most Retweeted of the year and the most Liked of all time.

Most Retweeted Tweets worldwide:

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Top Liked Tweets worldwide:

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Note: We only feature one Tweet per account and we don’t consider Tweets that offer reward in exchange for followers or engagement. 

It will come as no surprise that the top hashtag used by the most people this year was none other than #COVID19. Not only was the hashtag (and other variations on it) Tweeted nearly 400 million times, but we also saw the ways in which it changed how we Tweeted about so many other topics. With much of the world staying home more - in fact, #StayHome was the 3rd biggest hashtag of the year - we saw a change in habits through Twitter. 

Globally, there were the equivalent of more than 7,000 Tweets per minute about TV and movies this year (so it’s no surprise that the 🛋 emoji went up 40%). 

 

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Tweets about cooking nearly tripled this year (but that banana bread craze surged for only about three months and is now closer to normal-times levels), and the trends in food-related emojis suggest that everyone developed a serious sweet tooth and all those video calls created an upswing in adult beverages.

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Even though many sports went on pause and looked a bit different when they returned, there were still two billion Tweets about sports. No stadium? No problem. With no fans in seats and sports bars not an option, people turned to the sports community on Twitter to share their hot takes and feelings of excitement, disappointment and in some cases, 😲 reactions.

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Following #COVID19, the second most-Tweeted hashtag of the year was #BlackLivesMatter. The world mobilized and amplified the need for equality and social justice following the death of George Floyd, who was the third most-Tweeted-about person globally. 

People continued to utilize Twitter to publicly advocate for political change and demand accountability from world leaders this year. Over 700 million Tweets were sent in 2020 about elections around the world and Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Narendra Modi and Kamala Harris were among the most Tweeted-about global figures.

 

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Citizens and sports stars alike, from the UK to Colombia and India turned to Twitter to advocate for important causes:

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This year also brought on a renewed sense of gratitude and support for our communities. Tweets expressing being grateful or thankful increased by 20% globally, with a particular recognition of doctors (+135%), teachers (+30%), and essential/frontline workers (that phrase was Tweeted more than 17 million times this year). 

Finally, here's a closer look at the most-Tweeted emojis on Twitter around the world this year:

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To reflect on the year and join in on the conversation, check out #ThisHappened2020 as Twitter accounts around the world spotlight the top local Twitter moments from the year.

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Tracy McGraw

‎@traylove23‎

Global Head of Consumer Communications

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