2012 has been an eventful year, and so has the “Twitterverse”! Brands haven’t been far behind in the race to “trend”. Twitter has been a witness to brand VS brand, brand VS consumers, brand VS government wars. From Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Foster’s, Kingfisher, Windows 8, to the infamous comment by a senior from Benetton, every brand has had its more than 15 minutes of fame on the trend list this year. Every product launch got its fair share of supporters and critics.
Twitter this year has also been used as a mouthpiece for virtual activism and has set new benchmarks of armchair cynicism. Where do I begin when describing the ever-expanding and forever-expending Twitter universe? As one of the most effective and fastest media, they say that the thing faster than the speed of light are the fingers of a Twitter addict.
Let us look at the most trended topics (or the most notable ones) of this year (irrespective of their geographical occurrence in India or anywhere else in the world), that made their way into the Indian Twitteratti’s daily discussions.
Indian political issues saw a lot of outrage and a heightened interest especially in the younger demographic of 15-25 years. From Kasab’s hanging, Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi’s arrest, State Elections to the recent Delhi Gang Rape Protests, the trend showed more and more school and college students voicing their opinions and spilling scepticism and humour across all timelines. The demise of various luminaries of the entertainment industry was equally mourned and talked about – Rajesh Khanna, Yash Chopra, Whitney Houston and the recent death of Jaspal Bhatti. International headlines were a part of the daily coffee-break-tweeting sessions among almost all Twitter users. Notably, the US elections, Obama’s win, Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic space jump, Hurricane Sandy, all instances of US public shootings, each big news trended on the Indian Twitter map. Sports, London Olympics especially, trended throughout their entire duration. Euro Cup online madness in 2012 cannot be forgotten with Twitter divided into loyal club fan groups. Change in Instagram terms of conditions brought about another worldwide concern amongst its users over the privacy issue of their pictures.
Moving slightly away from the analytical part of Twitter, there was a standalone trend in December that stood out as it wasn’t triggered by any particular brand, government body, celebrity or any “tweleb”. The hashtag used was #HappyBirthdayBeeba to wish a particular witty Twitter handle @beeba_puttar. It was a fun involvement of users from across India to join in the big Twitter celebration of the guy’s birthday. The all India trending of this hashtag proved and solidified Twitter’s reach and power amongst the common users.
So as the year end approaches, in conclusion, Twitter has held its position steady as one of the most effective media for brands to reach their target demographics. And has rose from being just a platform of personal expression to a legit global newsflash channel for a person who might be sitting in his lone work cubicle to a bored commuter with a smartphone in his pocket.