A year in the life of social media 2013

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Try putting the highlights, or some might say lowlights, of 2013 into a 140 tweet.

#MargaretThatcherDeath #PrinceGeorgeBirth #HarryStylesMania #PhilippineAppeal #MalalaYousafzai #PoliticalSelfie #SirAlexFerguson #Nigella

As you can see – it’s near impossible to squeeze an extraordinary year into a few hashtags but it is becoming increasingly necessary to as social media is now the quickest and most popular way of sharing news the world over.  Twitter’s influence alone is the highest it has ever been after The Huffington Post crunched numbers in July to reveal that there are 554, 750, 000 active registered Twitter users and 58 million tweets, on average, every day.

Having shed the ‘2012’ stamp we were all so indelibly inked with last year – the Olympics, general glory, you know the drill – we could very easily have slumped into 2013 without so much as a chirp let alone a tweet. Luckily however, 2013 has been undeniably blessed with certain characters and moments to keep it A1 in the social media stakes. The following Social Media Moments aim to make you, as in all times of reminiscing, smile, cry, cringe and generally question the state of the world we live in.

January: Best example of real time advertising when Oreo tweeted during the Super Bowl power cut. This set a precedent for marketing everywhere and officially made old news no news.

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The great and the good of the silver screen may have gathered together dressed in a collective of tulle and silk but the real VIP’s at this years Oscars ceremony were the ones behind the hashtags. Over the course of the show there were over 8.9 million tweets with Michelle Obama fighting off fierce competition for ‘Most Tweeted Moment’ when she presented the award for Best Picture to Argo gaining 85,300 related tweets.



March was the month Miley twerked. Originally posted on her Facebook page, the video of Miley twerking in a onesie soon went viral across social media causing a social storm and a booty bashing brigade.  Her thoughts on the topic were suitably vacuous as she mused, ‘it’s kind of weird that I’ve twerked to 6 million people’.

Yes Miley. It is.

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The world watched on in horror as the Boston Marathon race ended in tragedy with a series of bombs that shook the city and the world. Twitter became a vital tool for journalists reporting the unfolding events and was used by the Boston police department to help in the man hunt for those suspected of being responsible for the bombings.



In May the non-profit organization United States to Prevent Gun Violence commissioned the ad agency Grey New York to create an advert demonstrating the devastating effect one bullet can cause. The tag line ‘bullets leave bigger holes than you think’ was hard hitting and spread across all social media platforms.



Hilary Clinton joined Twitter in June gaining 23,000 followers in just 2 hours.  Her Twitter biography has been billed as one of the best out there and the fact that her profile picture was taken aboard a military C-17 by the renowned photographer Diana Walker only confirms #tweetsfromhilary to be ones to watch.



July provided Twitter with two of the most tweeted events of the year – The birth of Prince George and Andy Murray winning Wimbledon. The announcement of Prince George’s birth sparked 25,300 tweets per minute, however this was minimal compared to the tweets caused by Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win. The first British winner since Fred Perry in 1936 resulted in 120,000 tweets a minute.




August heralded the world’s first Papal ‘selfie’. Taken inside the Vatican with a group of children on pilgrimage, the Pope encouraged the children to ‘Have courage. Go forward. Make noise’. Once published, this selfie then went viral across social media.



It’s official – on social media One Direction, or 1D as they are now know, are more influential than the Prime Minister and collectively have 744, 787, 48 Twitter followers. That is a lot of screaming teenagers. And the odd middle aged mother.



Burberry hit the 10 million milestone in October gaining almost double the ‘likes’ of Chanel, five times the ‘likes’ of Armani and 20 times as many ‘likes’ as Alexander McQueen. Revered as much for its digital innovation as for the clothes, Burberry under the leadership of Angela Ahrendts has become a label associated with cutting edge technology, which includes Tweetwalks, live-streaming and a fierce hold on social media. No wonder then that Ms Ahrendts has recently been poached by Apple to become its Senior Vice President for retail and online stores.

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November heralded the first ever Instagram advert when Michael Kors shared a filtered photo of a watch sat amongst a Parisian themed still. The filtered image, which to date has received 230095 loves, is the first to be released from a luxury brand and others including Burberry and Levi’s are set to follow.



It was at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela when #SelfieGate emerged as Obama, Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt were caught in the act of capturing themselves on a phone camera. A look more commonly seen by teenage girls or the more narcissist individual, this particular image soon viral on social media and rumors are spreading that the image taken might be auctioned off for charity.