What the Trend – a HootSuite Media company – analyzed 207,518 Twitter trends from 2011 to determine the top trending topics of the year. The resultant lists offer a unique view of social media’s impact on all aspects of culture and can be viewed and downloaded from HootSuite’s company blog.
To capture the fast-moving social media conversations, localized trend information was captured by What the Trend every 5 minutes from Twitter. The What the Trend user community then added context with user-contributed definitions. To compile the report, the leading trends were grouped by topic (i.e. #jan25 and #egypt were both added to the Egypt Protest topic) to create Top 10 lists for movies, US TV shows, musical artists, sports leagues, and world news – as well as an overall list which included definitions for the varied mix of pop stars, holidays and sports.
Twitter Trends offer a unique overview of world events in an unprecedented, real-time stream of unfiltered information. Along with major world events, celebrity culture and politics, trends include company promotions and #hashtag memes – which can be difficult to understand. It’s also noteworthy to see the variety of topics coming from beyond North America, including Japan, Korea and Brazil where Twitter is a common part of everyday online conversation.
Trends rarely appear on Twitter’s trending topic list for more than a day, as such, What the Trend’s results differ from Twitter’s Year In Review: Hot Topics list. What the Trend’s research methodology examines all topics regardless of whether or not a topic has had long-standing popularity – including this year’s champion, Justin Bieber who is the topic of much discussion about Twitter’s trend tracking algorithm. What the Trend also awards ‘points’ for both duration and rank on the top 10 trending topics on Twitter.com to take the intensity of trends into consideration.