Twitter has revealed that Charlie Sheen and the Egyptian uprising were amongst the most popular subjects for hashtags in 2011.
#egypt was the most used hashtag — a group of tweets gathered around the same subject — showing how integral the site was to the uprising against Hosni Mubarak’s regime that triggered the Arab Spring.
This was followed by #tigerblood, referring to a comment made by Sheen after his sacking from sitcom Two and a Half Men. The actor was also the most talked about person on Twitter, with his very public breakdown being chronicled almost exclusively by the site.
Indeed, such was Sheen’s popularity that he attracted over 1 million followers within 24 hours of joining the site in March — a statistic that is thought to be a record.
The resignation of Mubarak topped the news list, followed by the US special force’s fatal raid on Osama bin Laden’s home. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami ranked in third place.
Other top hashtags included were –
#threewordstoliveby – In which Twitter users list the three words they hold to be very important in their lives.
#idontunderstandwhy – In which Twitter users list something they don’t understand. Obviously.Often about the opposite sex.
#japan – The massive participation in social media in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster showed Twitter’s potential in emergency situations, as well as being used to deliver messages of support from around the world.
#improudtosay – In a similar vein to number three, users tweet something they’re proud of.
#superbowl – The Superbowl was popular on Twitter. Enough said.
#jan25 – January 25 was the day WaelGhonim became a symbol for the Egyptian democracy movement after being detained and presciently predicting the role of the internet in the movement and in activism in general.
Rebecca Black, the teenager who shot to stardom after her debut single Friday was released on YouTube and widely mocked, topped the music list. At the time of its release, the song ranked top in global trending topics on Twitter
, surpassing the Japanese earthquake crisis.
Twitter hit 100 million active users in 2011, and welcomed people such as Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Salman Rushdie, Gary Barlow, Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge character and the Pope.
"Among other things, we saw history unfold in the Middle East, mourned the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, celebrated National Whipped Cream Day, and cheered for the Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers and Wayne Rooney," Twitter said in its official blog.
"More than anything, these trends demonstrate how Twitter connects people with common interests.
"Instead of watching the news, the Super Bowl and Pretty Little Liars at home alone, we watched them together on Twitter," it added.