Updated on December 10, 2021
2018 for Twitter went about as well as it did for 2017. It still has a lot of the same problems: a lower user count versus Facebook (well, it’s a “problem” to Wall Street); trolls, hate speech, etc. running rampant; and Donald Trump’s still there.
Still, Twitter (and a few third parties) did release a look back on 2018, regarding what tweets and Twitter users are popular. At least, they released it in a piecemeal state, and apparently not in an actual press release or on their own blog. Fortunately, Variety, ABC, and others have summarized things.
The most liked tweets
I couldn’t find the most retweeted tweets, but here’s the most liked tweets.
The most liked tweet of 2018 is a tweet by Korean pop music boy band BTS, featuring one of the band’s members dancing to a song by Drake.
At #2 is a tweet by former President Barack Obama, about young people protesting gun violence/the need for increased gun control:
Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe; marching and organizing to remake the world as it should be. We’ve been waiting for you. And we’ve got your backs.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 22, 2018
At #3 is a humorous tweet about someone’s dogs and ear medicine.
Obama’s still more popular than Trump
Although he’s been out of office for two years by now, Obama still has a stronger following on Twitter than the Donald. As of this writing, Obama has 104 million followers under his sole Twitter handle, @BarackObama.
Trump’s two Twitter handles, @realDonaldTrump and the official Presidential Twitter handle, @POTUS, have 57 million and 24.8 million followers respectively, or a combined total of 81.8 million. That’s an increase from last year, but still a bit more than three-fourths of Obama’s following.
Trump was tweeted about more than Obama in 2018, though that goes with being the current president. The Donald’s most retweeted tweet in 2018 was his threat to North Korea over having a “bigger and more powerful Nuclear Button.” Last year‘s top tweet advocated violence against the press (specifically CNN). All a sign of educated, clear-headed, and rational leadership, of course.
Most popular activism hashtags
Fortunately, progressive political movements were popular on Twitter last year. The top five in the United States:
- March For Our Lives
- NFL Protests
- Students Stand Up
- Me Too
- Black Lives Matter
The most tweeted about movies in the US were led by “Black Panther.” Disney-made movies dominated the top 10 list, unsurprisingly, though the films “Crazy Rich Asians” and the gay romantic comedy “Love, Simon” also appear. (All films that apparently didn’t register on the Golden Globe voters‘ radars this year, unsurprisingly.)
The full list:
- Black Panther
- The Avengers: Infinity War
- The Incredibles 2
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- Deadpool 2
- Love, Simon
- A Wrinkle in Time
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
- Crazy Rich Asians
- The Shape of Water
TV figures are for the US, and split between broadcast/cable TV shows and streaming ones. The most tweeted about (non-streaming) TV shows:
- Saturday Night Live
- Grey’s Anatomy
- The Walking Dead
- Big Brother
- The Voice
- Live PD
- Game of Thrones
“Roseanne” got much attention per the fate of its star, plus the show’s “Hogan Family”-ish retooling into the Roseanne-less “The Connors.”
“Riverdale” clocks in at #10, showing that “darker and edgier” CW-style Archie’s still popular. The show’s now on its third season with 48 episodes, which eclipses the run of the previous Riverdale-centered TV series, “Archie’s Weird Mysteries.”
As for the streaming shows:
- 13 Reasons Why
- Stranger Things
- Black Mirror
- Queer Eye
- The Handmaid’s Tale
Didn’t think Netflix’s revival of “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy” would be that popular, but there you go.
The most tweeted about sporting events in the US:
- FIFA World Cup Russia
- Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games
- NBA Finals (Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors)
- NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament
- NFL Draft
- U.S. Open Tennis Championships
- NBA Draft
- WWE Wrestlemania
- NBA All-Star Game
- NHL Stanley Cup Finals
No surprise the World Cup and Winter Olympics topped the list. I notice the 2018 Stanley Cup came in tenth place, behind the WWE (of all things). Even the NBA’s all-star game ranked higher?