We’re preparing to bid adieu to 2013, which means it’s time for the ever-reliable year-end lists. NPR’s Book Concierge lets you explore the best books of the year. NPR Music chronicled the best albums. And Twitter is out with the biggest tweets and most-tweeted moments of 2013.
Twitter trends show us that as a nation, we used the 140-character service widely to mark the second inauguration of President Obama, and to discuss the Washington gridlock that dominated most of the year — the government shutdown in the fall was widely chronicled on the social media service.
The world came together to celebrate the new pope and at year’s end, mourn the death of Nelson Mandela. And as a go-to platform people to get information instantaneously — the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt played out frenetically on Twitter.
In a noticeable difference between the top tweeted moments and the top moments shared on Facebook (which released its year-end list Wednesday), it was decidedly Twitter buzz, not other social platforms, that helped fuel the rise of a political star — Texas state senator Wendy Davis, who is now running for governor in the Lone Star State.
It was also a big year for Twitter itself, with the company announcing it would go public — and joining the New York Stock Exchange — in early November. (Though tweets about the business of Twitter did not top the year’s list of most tweeted-about events.)
According to Twitter data, the year’s most-retweeted messages were all by entertainers sharing loss, love, and celebration.
1. Glee star Lea Michele’s goodbye to co-star Cory Monteith
2. The confirmation of actor Paul Walker’s death
3. One Direction band member’s birthday
The most-retweeted tweet, seen below, came from Lea Michele, making her first public comment on the overdose death of her co-star and real life boyfriend Monteith. Twitter says that at its peak, her tweet was shared 408,266 times by fans. A photo of another famous couple was the most retweeted message of 2012 — President Obama embracing first lady Michelle Obama after he was re-elected.