Home A Different Kind Of Redux: Twitter’s 2011 Year In Review

A Different Kind Of Redux: Twitter’s 2011 Year In Review

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is officially in full gear, and practically everyone, including yours truly, is working on those lovely 2011 year in review and top trends type posts. Twitter’s doing it, too. For every day in December, Twitter releases a list of tweets curated around a specific theme. December 1st, for example, was all about “the year in stories,” and December 5th had to do with “hot topics.” These are the things that Twitter’s creators think are most important about it. What do these topics say about the power of Twitter in 2011?

2011 was a big year for Twitter. Most recently, Twitter launched a complete redesign. It was released to iPhone and Android users first. That same day, it also launched Twitter brand pages, something it first announced back in April. Twitter embraced its social role in TV, going so far as to implement a social voting feature into the show X Factor USA. Twitter Communications Head Sean Garrett left the company just twenty months after joining the team. Twitter tripled its daily sign-ups after it got baked into iOS 5. Twitter also turned on its t.co link wrapper, which packages links that are longer than 19 characters. The Twitter app ecosystem expanded significantly, too. In July, Twitter was serving more API calls than Facebook and Google combined.

Twitter’s 2011 Year In Review, Starting With December 1

December 1: The Year In Stories
Tell your story, tell it here. Wael Ghonim’s pro-democracy #Jan25 hashtag. The March 11 Japan earthquakes. Roger Ebert gained a new voice. Dr. Willy Mutunga opened the African courts to direct communication through Twitter. These are just a some of the examples. These stories all have one thing in common: They make people react. On Twitter, stories or ideas become trends if they evoke a feeling, and urge people to converse. There’s also the awe-inspiring “Twitter miracle” type story, like Aaron Durand who saved his mom’s bookstore with a Tweet, or Chris Strouth who tweeted “sh$t, I need a kidney” then got one. Twitter predicts the types of stories that will spread quickly, going viral in a matter of hours.

In the world of social media, “celebrity” is a combination of social status and social media presence. These are the people who qualify, according to Twitter.

December 2: Who Joined?

In the world of social media, “celebrity” is a combination of social status and social media presence. These are the people who qualify, according to Twitter. It hit 100 million users in 2011. Celebrities, in the traditional sense of the word, are always a cause for excitement, whether they’re tabloid-centric Charlie Sheen or Salman Rushdie who recently accused Facebook of stealing his identity. (Something that Twitter wouldn’t do.) In May, political celebrities South African President Jacob G. Zuma and the U.S. Secret Service joined Twitter. Former Facebook President Sean Parker joined Twitter in October.

December 5th focused on hot topics and December 6 listed what types of events received the most tweets per second (answer: 8,868 tweets per second for the MTV video music awards). December 8 brought good Samaritan vibes: Twitter noted the most retreated tweet, which was a Wendy’s good cause. Every retweet raised 50 cents to help kids in foster care. As a result, Wendy’s ended up raising $50,000 for foster children.

Not all tweets are created equal, but anyone with access to the Internet can participate in the conversation on Twitter.

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