8 Dec 2015

From Paris attacks to One Direction - Twitter's year

10:51 am on 8 December 2015

Deadly terror attacks in Paris and the social movement #BlackLivesMatter were Twitter's top news events of 2015 - but the most retweeted single message was about One Direction.

The terrorism attacks in Paris in January and November were among key news events shared on Twitter this year.

The Eiffel Tower illuminated with the colours of the French flag in tribute to the victims of the Paris's terror attacks.

The Eiffel Tower illuminated with the colours of the French flag in tribute to the victims of the Paris's terror attack Photo: AFP

#PrayforParis and #JeSuisCharlie were among the top 10 news trends cited by Twitter, referring to the deadly 13 November rampage in the French capital and the killings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine on 7 January.

The #BlackLivesMatter message came to represent a social movement, becoming a rallying cry for social justice after killings by United States police of blacks in cities including Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland.

But the most-retweeted single message was about the British pop band One Direction.

Band member Harry Styles' message of gratitude to fans following news of the departure of Zayn Malik was retweeted 729,000 times, and liked by 745,000.

US President Barack Obama's tweet following the Supreme Court's affirmation of gay marriage, using the #LoveWins hashtag, was another widely-viewed message, retweeted some 448,000 times.

And Saudi King Salman's message of prayer and support to his people shortly after inheriting power was retweeted 368,000 times.

Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic athlete who changed gender to become a woman, had her message of introduction retweeted 259,000 times. Jenner set a new record, becoming the fastest person to reach one million Twitter followers - in just over four hours.

The most used news hashtags were #jobs, #Quran and #ISIS, while the top technology themes were #iPad, #SoundCloud and #Android.

Debate over the #TheDress divided the Twitter world in 2015.

The most talked about stars were US singer Ariana Grande, Argentine singer Oriana Sabatini and Mexican actress-singer Dulce Maria.

"Whether people were making a hashtag into a global movement or expressing wonder over the color of a dress, we all used Twitter this year in awe-inspiring ways," Twitter's Alexandra Valasek said in a blog post.

- Twitter / AFP