Last year, Dionne Warwick famously Tweeted “do not bring that foolishness into 2021” and as we close out the year, we can’t help but wonder if we did right by the queen of Twitter. Turns out we did—from reconnecting with people and places that we hadn’t seen in months, to providing a space to champion human rights concerns in all forms and rediscovering the familiar while still adjusting to a new reality, we all made sure foolishness became a thing of the past, and we have endless Tweets to prove it.
You really had to be there, but fortunately we made sure to capture the magic that lived #OnlyOnTwitter in 2021. Read on as we revisit some of the top global moments of the year.
Note: We only feature one Tweet per account and we don’t consider Tweets that offer reward in exchange for followers or engagement.
A new year means a new beginning, and the top Liked Tweet of the year reflects just that as Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States in January. The fourth and fifth top Liked Tweets, from Barack Obama and Kamala Harris, respectively, took a similar tone celebrating a new era. The second place Tweet features a selfie from BTS' JungKook with a simple kissing face emoji caption. Sadly the emoji didn’t make it to our list of most Tweeted emojis (more on that later). Rounding out the top three, our colleagues behind @Twitter captured the collective feeling of the world with a simple three-word Tweet as literally everyone flocked to Twitter on that fateful day in October, proving that less is sometimes more when Tweeting.
The most Retweeted Tweet of 2021 takes a more serious tone and brings us back to the social movements that dominated the conversation and brought people across the globe together in support of a mutual cause. During a period in which we saw a rise in hate crimes against Asians, BTS put their influence and massive following to good use, sharing a powerful message in an effort to #StopAsianHate. BTS' fans also used Twitter to celebrate their Billboard Hot 100 hit "Butter" and their “Dynamite” #GRAMMYs performance, and ARMY didn’t stop there—#BTS was also the top hashtag of 2021.
In 2021, competition was bigger than ever—and we’re not just talking about sports. The most Tweeted TV shows included reality TV competition favorites Big Brother Brasil and A Fazenda 13, while K-drama Squid Game changed how we’ll view children’s games forever, taking the third spot for most discussed TV show worldwide. Escapism was another big theme from TV this year, creating a movement which manifested through meme creations, costume wearing, and more.
2021 was also about bringing back some of the familiar and that includes movies. Can you spot the recurring theme?
Superheroes dominated the most discussed movies worldwide. As the home to Hollywood, it’s also no surprise #thesuicidesquad was in the top five most Tweeted hashtags in Los Angeles too.
For people on Twitter, the support for their teams is so loud that it spans across continents. Manchester United moved up a spot from 2020 to be the most discussed sports team worldwide, while the team’s Tweet welcoming Cristiano Ronaldo home was the second most Retweeted Tweet worldwide.
This year, everyone was thrilled to welcome back large-scale sporting events and the Olympics took the top honor as the most discussed sports match/event worldwide.
Around the globe, we saw a strong sense of national pride and unity as people proudly supported their country’s teams. In Indonesia, the most Retweeted Tweet celebrated Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu becoming the first women's doubles pair from Indonesia to win gold at the Olympics.
Last but not least, and proving once again that this year was about connection whether that was through tears of sadness or joy, the crying face and the face with tears of joy emoji took the first and second spot, respectively, as the most Tweeted emoji. The eyes emoji also entered the top ten for the first time, growing 7% since last year.
Join the conversation with #OnlyOnTwitter as Twitter accounts around the world spotlight the top Twitter moments from 2021.