A ROYAL baby, a raunchy dance, a new Pope, a boy band and the crowning of a tennis champion were just some of the hot topics this year on Twitter.
The birth of the Prince of Cambridge in July, announced both on an easel at Buckingham Palace and on Twitter, sparked a frenzy of excitement on the social networking site that spread rapidly across the world.
A spike in conversation came in the minutes following the initial announcement, with more than 25,300 tweets per minute. The first sighting of baby George with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was “live-tweeted’’ by the Royal Family’s official Clarence House Twitter account, which provides updates about the couple, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Harry.
Leading figures including Prime Minister David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury took to the site to share their joy on hearing the news of the latest addition to the Royal Family.
But the royal baby’s birth failed to generate the same flurry of activity on social media as Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon victory earlier in the month, which amassed 120,000 tweets per minute, or the election of Pope Francis in March, which sparked a massive 132,000 tweets per minute.
Contributing to the thousands of celebratory tweets following Murray’s tennis triumph were figures as diverse as Mr Cameron, Victoria Beckham and Sir Richard Branson.
Elsewhere in the sporting world, football dominated the biggest spikes in UK Twitter traffic, with seven of the Top 10 topics in terms of tweets per second being about the beautiful game.
The moment Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League after being beaten by Real Madrid took the No 1 spot.
Also achieving some of the most tweets per second was Mumford and Sons’ closing set at Glastonbury in June, with millions marking the moment the band were joined on stage by the Vaccines and Vampire Weekend to sing the Beatles classic With a Little Help From My Friends.
Twerking – the risque dance move made famous by US star Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards in August – became a sensation both offline and on Twitter.
In one of the most talked-about moments of the night, Cyrus, her twerking and her foam finger prop took the site by storm as people expressed mainly shock and disapproval.
With almost 25 million unique followers between them, it comes as no surprise the One Direction film premiere took over the Twitter conversation.
As Harry, Zayn, Louis, Niall and Liam took to the red carpet in London’s Leicester Square for One Direction: This Is Us in August, fans around the world tweeted.
There were more than 3.6 million related tweets on the day, and in 24 hours there were more than 1.9 million tweets using the hashtag #1DMoviePremiere.
1 March 5: Manchester United beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid, seeing them out of the Champions League.
2 January 1: Revellers celebrate as they see in the New Year.
3 July 13: Andy Murray wins Wimbledon.
4 June 2: England draw 2-2 with Brazil in a friendly, marking the reopening of the Maracana stadium ahead of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
5 April 30: Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the Champions League semi-final, but are knocked out on aggregate.
6 May 11: Wigan win the FA Cup Final, their first major trophy.
7 August 14: England beat Scotland 3-2 in a friendly.
8 April 23: Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
9 June 30: Mumford and Sons close Glastonbury.
10 October 15: England qualify for the 2014 World Cup.