What does the 44th president of the United States and a chicken nugget-loving teen have in common?
According to social media analytics firm Talkwalker, Barack Obama and Carter Wilkerson had the two most popular tweets of 2017. The former’s was a message of peace and love following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., while the latter was a kid’s plea to Wendy’s to supply him with chicken nuggets. Twitter, the great equalizer.
The social agency measured popularity by looking at that squishy word “engagement.” Which is just a catch-all term for “retweets” and “faves.” Sorry, “likes.” Twitter keeps changing its own vernacular.
But Twitter has had a tough year. According to its third-quarter earnings results, total advertising revenue dropped 8 percent to $503 million, while total revenue for the third quarter fell to $590 million, a 4 percent decrease from third-quarter 2016. The company did say it grew its user base by 4 million. It’s unclear how many are Russian bots.
As of today’s writing, however, Twitter’s stock is trading at 24.23, up 47 percent from Dec. 28, 2016’s 16.39.
The social platform has also added new features this year, like 280-character limits, up from the 140 it built its company on. Since brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.
From the ‘better late than never’ files, Twitter finally began enforcing its anti-hate group policies. In November, after more than a year of outrage from users, it announced it was going to ban hate groups. On Dec. 18, the purge began. It was hard to Nazi that coming.
But, all in all, 2017 was another year in which Twitter served as society’s water cooler, newswire, or whatever cliché we want to use to explain Twitter’s role in our lonely lives.
As of Dec. 6: more than 3 million tweets about #MeToo.
Between August and Dec. 13: more than 16.4 million tweets about DACA.
And let’s not forget about the brands, and what they learned by placing their lips on the firehose of Twitter data: mainly that Twitter is made up of more dog lovers than cat lovers.
Interestingly, of the top 10 tweets of the year, per this one analytic company, there were zero from Donald Trump. That must enrage him. Indeed, Talkwalker said in a statement, “And while President Barack Obama had more than one Tweet that could have appeared on this list, we included only his most popular Tweet.”
Here are, in ascending order, this year’s Top Tweets—by Talkwalker. May 2018 bring us better tweets.
- Bernie Sanders’ Tweet following the Women’s March:
- Malala’s tweet marking the beginning of her time at Oxford, five years after her attack:
- Tweet from JK Rowling on the 20th anniversary of the publishing of the first Harry Potter novel:
- Michelle Obama’s Tweet celebrating 25 years of marriage:
- Blake Lively’s joke Tweet saying happy birthday to her husband, Ryan Reynolds, with a photo of Ryan Gosling:
- Tweet from LeBron James reacting to a controversy created by Donald Trump:
- Tweet from Linkin Park following the death of their singer, Chester Bennington:
- Tweet from Ariana Grande following the attack at her concert in Manchester:
- A Wendy’s Twitter bet to see if a fan could win a lifetime supply of chicken nuggets:
- Tweet from Barack Obama following the white supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville: