It’s been one heck of a year, and nowhere has that been more visible than Twitter. The platform became a bigger stage than ever given Trump’s preference to introduce policy through tweets, turning the social network into even more of a political battleground. Today, Twitter released its year-in-review of the most impactful tweets that gave a balanced view of the year’s events. The year’s top tweets ranged from reacting to terrorist-caused tragedy to banding together for disaster relief — with the most retweeted message coming from one man’s quest to get endless chicken nuggets.
Unsurprisingly, the most retweeted message of the year came when an everyman infamously begged fast food chain Wendy’s for a lifetime of nuggets. But also topping the list of retweets and likes were reactions to tragedy, like Barack Obama’s message advocating against hate after the Nazi march in Charlottesville and murder of protester Heather Heyer. Another was Ariana Grande’s devastation-filled tweet after a suicide bomber killed 23 outside her Manchester Arena concert. Likewise, Penn State’s tweet pledging money for every retweet racked up interactions.
Trump was the most-talked-about politician, but none of his tweets made the lists of most interacted messages. Barack Obama, on the other hand, had three of the top ten globally retweeted posts on Twitter.
The most shared TwitterMoments were more lighthearted, including NASA’s discovery of 7 Earth-like new planets and Beyonce iconically announcing her pregnancy with a much-imitated photoshoot. For entertainment, Wonder Woman was the most-tweeted-about film of the year, while the Korean boy band BTS took the crown for musical artist (both globally and in the US, beating out Nicki Minaj and Harry Styles in the latter). Most-tweeted-about TV shows included releases from a mix of mediums, including Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and The Walking Dead. But nine Netflix shows made the top ten list of most popular streaming television shows on Twitter.
Sure, the review of top Twitter interactions for the year is skewed by the platform’s perspective, but it showcases what users talk about — and which voices they amplify.