Social media has become the world’s biggest gathering place; a place where people from all corners of the globe come together to unite in victory, activism, support, and madness.
Most of these moments play out in 140 characters or less.
Twitter released its annual #YearOnTwitter report Sunday, highlighting the social networks most prominent voices, trends and significant moments of 2015.
#HomeToVote and #LoveWins
2015 was a pivotal moment for marriage equality around the world. In May, hundreds of Irish emigrants returned home to take part in the country’s historic vote on same-sex marriage, sparking the #Hometovote hashtag to trend on Twitter. The country went on to become the first to legalize same-sex marriage by way of referendum.
Then, in June, Twitter erupted in celebration after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favour of marriage equality across all 50 states. Users from all over the world celebrated using the hashtag and accompanying Twitter emoji #LoveWins.
In September, pictures of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed in handcuffs went viral. The teenager was detained at his high school in Texas for bringing a homemade digital clock to class, over fears it was a bomb. Hours after the image went viral, the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed began trending worldwide – garnering over 370,000 tweets.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and President Obama even responded with the latter inviting the teen – and his clock – to the White House.
Ah, the now age-old question – is the dress black and blue or white and gold?
The viral debate over a picture of a dress quickly became one of the most heart debates to hit the Internet in years, garnering more than 4.4 million tweets in just two days. In fact, it even prompted scientific studies into colour perception.
It’s still not clear if the Internet ever decided which is the right answer, despite the fact the designer of the dress proved it is indeed black and blue.
#PrayForParis and #JeSuisCharlie
2015 was a bloody year in France. The country endured two horrific terrorist attacks just 10 months apart.
In January, gunmen stormed the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people and injuring 10 others. On Twitter, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie) began to trend worldwide shortly after the attack to express solidarity for the newspaper.
Last month, 130 people were killed in a series of attacks across the French capital, marking the deadliest attack on French soil since the Second World War. The hashtag #PrayForParis quickly emerged as a top global trend as people around the world reacted to the attacks.
Most retweeted moments
While historical moments, terrorism and social movements garnered some of the most attention on Twitter this year, celebrities dominated when it came to the battle for the most retweets.
The most retweeted tweet of the year goes to One Direction member Harry Styles, for expressing his gratitude towards fans after news broke that band mate Zayn Malik was leaving the group.
In fact, all of the One Direction members made an appearance on Twitter’s most retweeted list.
President Obama’s tweet celebrating marriage equality, Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy’s last tweet and Caitlyn Jenner’s first message to the world also made the list.