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The 2014 #YearOnTwitter

By @gabrielstricker
Wednesday, 10 December 2014

This year, people across the world came together in moments of celebration, protest, mourning and joy. Many millions of you contributed to the moments and conversations that all unfolded on Twitter.

People send more than 500 million Tweets per day. Each one contributes something special to Twitter, but only one is recognized as the “Golden Tweet,” a.k.a. the most-Retweeted Tweet of the year. This year, the honor goes to @TheEllenShow’s starry photo from the March Oscars telecast:

To look back on the best global moments from the year, we’re unveiling #YearOnTwitter on 2014.Twitter.com. From Ellen’s Tweet to space travel and triumphant World Cup moments, if it happened in the world, it happened on Twitter. Here’s a peek:

  • World Cup: The biggest sports story in 2014, especially on Twitter. Fans, players, teams and media sent over 672 million Tweets during the month-long tournament. At its peak, there were 618,725 Tweets sent per minute — the largest peak we measured this year — when Germany (@DFB_Team) took home the championship.
  • #BringBackOurGirls: In response to a mass kidnapping in Nigeria, millions of Tweets were sent mentioning #BringBackOurGirls. This map visualizes the hashtag’s global spread over a two-week period.
  • #IndyRef: Scottish citizens used Twitter to say “yes” or “no” regarding a referendum on independence from the UK in the days leading up to the vote in September. This interactive map of geotagged “yes” or “no” Tweets shows the global nature of the conversation, which spread well beyond Scotland. Fom the first debate through polling day, there were more than 3.75 million Tweets about the referendum.
  • Hong Kong protests: When citizens of Hong Kong gathered to protest governmental electoral reforms, characterized by the hashtag #occupycentral, people over the world took to Twitter to add their thoughts. There were more than 2.3 million Tweets about what became known as the #UmbrellaRevolution. Here are the most shared photos, and here’s how the event played out on Twitter.
  • #BlackLivesMatter: There were more than 18 million Tweets about the #Ferguson protests in August, as charted in this visualization. In the hours following the grand jury’s decision in November, there were 3.5 million Tweets from across the U.S. Also tied to a similar grand jury decision in New York, this map shows how powerfully the hashtags #ICantBreathe and #BlackLivesMatter shaped the conversation on Twitter.

2014.Twitter.com also showcases the year from the perspective of some of your favorite (and most prolific) Twitter users. The list of featured users is below. From the site, you can also explore their #5toFollow to see their own must-follows.

Finally, while Ellen’s Tweet is the most “Golden,” there are countless others we won’t soon forget. Here are a few you might appreciate: