Do You Remember These Top 10 Social Media Stories of 2012?

Last year was an amazing year for Social Media. Records were broken, social media became a more integrated part of our lexicon, possibly to the point that you might not have had to explain what Twitter was to most people.

This year, Facebook topped a billion users, Twitter over a half billion and Pinterest became a breakout network. There were IPOs, acquisitions, and lots and lots of interesting content. Do you remember some of what happened last year? Here’s just a brief overview:

10. Viral Video Proposal

9. Hurricane Sandy

As with Haiti and Japan before it, Hurricane Sandy was the most social disaster of the year, with over 20 million Tweets in 5 days. Mentions of “Donate Blood” reached a yearly high in the aftermath.


Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart. — Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012

That’s right, if 85 year-old Pope Benedict XVI can Tweet, so can you. So can your marketing manager, and so can the vice president of your company. His first Tweet was on December 12 and received  64,000 Retweets. Since then, he’s only Tweeted 13 times. (Read more in this blog post.)


Yes, us geeks can all celebrate. Some of the top events of the year were science-related. In October, Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull team soared across social media as he leapt from a balloon 24 miles above earth, drawing 3 million tweets. (Read more in this blog post.)


For the Mars Rover mission, NASA satisfied everyone’s inner geek by posting Tweets from the Mars Curiosity rover, from the point of view of the rover.


When the Duchess Kate Middleton was checked into a hospital with a case of hyperemesis gravidarum reported as morning sickness, the Twitter world was abuzz. When the #RoyalBaby was confirmed, people wrote over a million Tweets sending congratulations including heads of state and celebrities. “Kate Middleton” and “#Kate” were trending topics that day.


“Not Impressed” Meme Image Source: The 2012 Olympics was certainly one of the social media highlights of the year, totaling 150 million Tweets, reaching 116k Tweets per minute. Many memes and trends were created from the Olympics, including “McKayla is Not Impressed,” The badminton scandal, Usain Bolt, empty seats, London Mayor Boris Johnson getting stuck on a zipline, Olympic diver faces, Oscar Pistorius, Phelps, Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte and even more. That should be enough for even McKayla to be impressed.


Clint Eastwood’s empty chair Image Source: CNN The Republican National Committee built up suspense over who their mystery speaker was, and even moved others so that their speaker could make news coverage. The speaker, Clint Eastwood, did not disappoint. In about fifteen minutes, Eastwood kicked off a new meme, #Eastwooding, or talking to an empty chair. Other notable memes from the election cycle included #BindersFullOfWomen or #Binders, and  #BigBird, both taken from quotes from Governor Romney during debates. (Read more posts about social media and the debates here.)


On election night, President Obama posted a very simple Tweet, “Four More years” with an image embracing the first lady. To date, that Tweet has received nearly 820,000 Retweets and over 304,000 favorites, booting Justin Bieber as the previous record holder. The same post on Facebook garnered over 4 million likes, breaking another record.


Just a little more than a week ago, Psy’s Gangnam Style video became the first YouTube video to top one billion views. His Korean-Pop, or K-Pop song with its catchy beat and unique dance has taken the world by storm and spawned countless parodies. The above video is from the Tel Aviv office of my employer, BMC Software.

Which memes or trends did we miss? Let us know in the comments!

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