The Reading Room

#egypt and #tigerblood

We thought it was worth highlighting twitter’s most talked about hastags for 2011. In case anyone doesn’t know – a hash tag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. For example, if you search on #LOST (or #Lost or #lost, because it’s not case-sensitive), you’ll get a list of tweets related to the TV show. What you won’t get are tweets that say “I lost my wallet yesterday” because “lost” isn’t preceded by the hash tag.

The top hashtag this year was #egypt, following the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak in February. The second most popular was #tigerblood – the phrase coined by Sheen following his acrimonious axing from hit US sitcom Two and a Half Men in March.

News events dominated Twitter’s hashtags this year, including the Japanese earthquake in March and the Super Bowl. I would say that the #superbowl made the list because a number of companies such as Mercedes, Budweiser, and Doritos began social media campaigns before the big game.

A teenager who was unknown at the start of the year topped the music list. Would-be popstar Rebecca Black was propelled into stardom when her debut single Friday was released on YouTube to widespread mockery. At the time of its release, the song ranked top in global trending topics on Twitter, surpassing the Japanese earthquake crisis. Perhaps suprisingly teen hit Justin Bieber did not feature in the top names.

British talent in the top 10 included Ricky Gervais, off the back of his controversial Golden Globes appearance, Colin Firth, who won the best actor Oscar for his performance as King George VI in The King’s Speech and Pete Postelthwaite, a British character actor who died in 2011.


Top hashtags of 2011



Top world news stories of 2011 on Twitter

1Mubarak’s resignation
2Raid on Osama bin Laden
3Japanese earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster
4Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords
5Colonel Gaddafi’s death
6Swine flu outbreak

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