There was a verity of trending topics among social media in the past year that varied from racial tension to a shark dancing to his own beat. To gain a better prospective of the future we are looking back at the coverage and engagement of the hottest news topics in social media of the past year.
Social media was the driving force behind showcasing displays of support and solidarity, racial debates, gender debates, and demands for social change. Lets take a look below at what top news stories were, “breaking the Internet” in 2015.
World Cup 2015
There was approx. 32.1 million #WorldCupFinal tweets trending last year surrounding the World Cup.
Women’s World Cup 2015
Social media around the world exploded during the 2015 Women’s World Cup as 9 million Facebook users generated 20 million interactions, with 9 billion impressions on Twitter. The final game was the most Tweeted about match in the tournament to celebrate the 5-2 U.S win over Japan. On July 5th, 2015 it became the most watched.
Super Bowl 2015
Of more than 28 million Tweets during the game, the majority trending was about Malcolm Butler’s interception during Super Bowl 2015.
While celebrities chimed in, the answer to a simple debate had to be settled by science. Tumblr user ‘Swiked’ asked readers about the colour of a dress, which sparked much debate over what colour of the dress. On one side people claimed it was blue & black while others argued it to be yellow & gold. The story quickly went viral with over 550k notes on Tumblr along with 1.5 million mentions under the hashtag #thedress within the first day of posting. By the end of it all there were 11 million tweets according to Twitter Data and we all learned what colour you see on a screen has to do with how your eyes and brain process the different wavelengths of colours.
Awards Shows – Grammy’s & Oscars
Award shows were a hot treading topic in social media last year. The Grammy’s produced 20.9 million tweets and 1.6 billion impressions, and the Oscars had 3.7 billion impressions from more than 3 million mentions and over 1.5 million tweets of the hashtag #GoldenGlobes
Katy Perry’s Halftime Performance
Earning an extraordinary 280k tweets, Perry’s performance spawned a short-lived Internet sensation known as, #LeftShark.
Upon the release of its July cover featuring Caitlyn Jenner’s debut, Vanity Fair propelled the hashtag #CallMeCaitlyn. Shortly after, it had been used 258k times, with 1.5 Billion impressions.
Supreme Court of the United States
After the announcement of the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states, support for the decision was in overflowing on social media. Facebook even created a rainbow filter for profile pictures, which over 25 million people have used so far.
The decision even received its own hashtag, #LoveWins, which was tweeted 6.2 million times in the first 24 hours. Brands also flocked to social media to lend their support, with a mass of rainbow tributes posted by Kelloggs, Target, Google, Budweiser, American Airlines, and countless others. Twitter Data tracked the tweets about the ruling in real time:
Charleston, SC & The Confederate Flag
The political aftermath of the tragic shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church sparked a social media fury, calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from all government buildings. Tens of thousands of hashtag tweets and hundreds of millions of impressions on the topic trended over social media Major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon made the decision to discontinue the sale of any products depicting the flag.
Social media had already become predominantly fuelled by racial tension over the previous year. Things only intensified further when it was discovered that NAACP activist, Rachel Dolezal had been lying about her race for years and posing as an African American woman even though she is Caucasian. The controversy brought sparked heated discussion of race, politics, and culture. Once the story surfaced it gained over 450k mentions, with the hashtag #RachelDolezal reaching nearly 3 billion impressions across the globe.
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