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Twitter’s Top Hashtags, Tweets and Users for 2015


This year, One Direction ruled Twitter. Credit Rich Fury/Invision, via Associated Press

Year-end Twitter data released on Monday offered a glimpse of 2015 defined by global unrest, social justice and, of course, many “face-with-tears-of-joy” emojis.

Since 2010, Twitter has logged popular hashtags, tweets and users, but this year, the service explored influential discussion topics. Hashtags created months apart after separate terror attacks in Paris, #JeSuisCharlie and #PrayforParis, gave people around the world a chance to collectively express their sorrow. (And gave others an opportunity to market memorabilia.)

Twitter, a service that logs about 320 million active users monthly, says that 79 percent of those accounts are from outside of the United States. Still, topics of particular interest to Americans dominated the list. Using several influential hashtags, people expressed their opinions about social justice at a time when the country was openly grappling with civil rights, discrimination and racism. #LoveWins, a hashtag that sprang up after the United States Supreme Court guaranteed the rights of same-sex couples to marry, cataloged widespread celebrations.

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Jubilation Outside Supreme Court

Supporters of gay rights cheered outside the Supreme Court on Friday after the justices ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

By A.J. Chavar and Caitlin Prentke on Publish Date June 26, 2015. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

Another hashtag, #IStandWithAhmed, was created around one the biggest social stories of the year. A global outcry emerged after 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was detained by the police for taking a homemade alarm clock to school in Irving, Tex. Ahmed saw such widespread support on social media that President Obama invited him to a White House event. He has since moved with his family to Qatar.

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#BlackLivesMatter, a social media movement that developed as people protested the deaths of black men by police officers, became an avenue for protesters to congregate both online and in person. (Protests in Ferguson, Mo., were highlighted in Twitter’s 2014 report.)

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#BlackTwitter After #Ferguson

On the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, three prominent activists read their tweets from the past year and reflect on the challenges and legacy of the Black Lives Matter movement.

By BRENT McDONALD and JOHN WOO on Publish Date August 10, 2015. Watch in Times Video »

Individuals made great strides on the platform. After unveiling her Vanity Fair cover, Caitlyn Jenner’s Twitter account reached 1 million followers faster than any other. She has since used her platform on social media as a way to speak out about issues facing transgender people.

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Aside from the attacks in Paris, Europe’s refugee crisis resonated globally, as did elections in Canada, Singapore and India. The most-retweeted honor belonged to members of the English boy band One Direction. A message from Harry Styles after his bandmate left the group took the top spot that Ellen DeGeneres snagged at the Oscars last year.

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(A tweet from the departed bandmate, Zayn Malik, made second place.)


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