2010 : The Top Trends on Twitter

The year is drawing its last breaths and is ready to say its final farewells. When I look back on the time that has gone by and try to choose a single event/happening that defines the hours that I spent online during the course of the year, one single word comes to mind. Twitter.

I discovered the magic of Twitter pretty late in the game. ( and the year for that matter)

It has, however, possessed me like nothing before or since. So here is a summing up post for this tumultuous, tantalizing thing tagged Twitter.

As of the end of 2010 there are about 175 million registered users on Twitter. The 175 million users generated about 25 billion tweets over the year! (At 4000 odd tweets I have only a 0.000016 percent share in this!)

One of the most interesting things on Twitter is the ‘trending’ feature. The superbly popular feature allows users to check at any given time, what topics are being discussed by more people than ever before.

The overall top 10 Trending topics of 2010 were:

1. Gulf Oil Spill – An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed for three months in 2010. No surprises here. There is nothing like a big corporate, a nasty environmental disaster and precious precious oil to fire up the imagination!

2. FIFA World Cup– With about 3.18 million fans attending the event and god knows how many more sitting glued to their television, it makes sense that the world Cup was a trending topic on Twitter.

3. Inception – Anyone who has watched the Christopher Nolan masterpiece will readily understand why the movie was trending on twitter. Obviously people were discussing the movie and how nobody seemed to understand the ending. Was DiCaprio dreaming all the while? Tweet Tweet!

4. Haiti Earthquake – The January 12 catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, about 25 km west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, stirred people’s imaginations like never before!

5. Vuvuzela: What’s plastic, a metre long, brightly coloured and sounds like an elephant? It’s the vuvuzela, the noise-making trumpet of South African football fans!

6. Apple iPad- Another one of Steve’s Wonders. Arguably the gadget of the year, Apple’s snazzy tablet had no problems walking into Twitter’s hall of fame. (Ironic if u consider that many may have been using the iPad to tweet about the .. well … iPad!)

7. Google Android – What do you get when you take an Internet search giant and a phenomenon called smart phones and the bewitching appeal of open source? Yes Android.

8. Justin Bieber- er .. I have no clue why he is here! 😉 He also Tops the list on people on Twitter in 2010. (And no, I do not figure on the list, thank you for asking!)

9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – the seventh and final of the Harry Potter novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. I guess the twitter trend refers to the movie released on 19 November. Considering that it is a movie based on a book that was released in 93 countries and sold 15 million copies in the first twenty-four hours of going on sale, it is very understandable why the movie is on the list.

10. Pulpo Paul – Paul the Octopus was a common octopus from Weymouth, England, who lived in a tank at a commercial attraction, the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany. Well right up to the point where it’s feeding behaviour started to correctly predict the winner of each of Germany’s seven matches in the 2010 World Cup, as well as the outcome of the final match. No less mysterious was its sudden demise on 26th Oct. Plenty of fodder for tweeps to tweet about. (I personally maintain to this day that the Italian Mafia got to poor Pauly!)

Besides these overall top ten trending topics, there were some other interesting tops on Twitter this year. Hurricane Earl, Pakistan Flood and Prince Williams Engagement all made it to the top news events on Twitter. (Disclaimer. I am not saying that the Royal hook-up was in any way similar to a flood or a hurricane!)

Four of the top 10 technology topics tweeted about were from Apple Inc. – iPad, Apple iOS, Apple iPhone and MacBook Air. Two were from Google – Android and Google Instant. The term “New Twitter” also made it to the list! ( I think mostly thanks to people tweeting ‘When am I going to get the new Twitter!’)

Here is a complete list of top trends for 2010.


P.S. It is interesting that at least 3 of the top 10 trends for 2010 had to do with the FIFA World Cup. (I say three, because I suspect Bieber may be a soccer player! Oh, will someone tell me who this guy is ?) Er .. You can follow me at @saqibiqbalahmed 🙂


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