2013 on Twitter: The Biggest Moments and Events

Perhaps Rob Ford wouldn’t have shot to international “stardom” if it weren’t for Twitter. With his antics well documented at the fingertips of thousands, what happened in Ford’s world simultaneously happened on Twitter. Not surprisingly, good old Rob Ford was one of the hottest topics on Twitter in 2013, first by people in Toronto, then Canada, and eventually around the globe as the scandal grew. Aside from the saturation of Ford banter, Twitter acted as a real-time visual to the biggest moments and events as they unfolded in the world in 2013, whether it was Chris Hadfield tweeting from space, the deaths of Hollywood celebrities, or reactions to disasters.

Here’s how the Rob Ford scandal in 2013 played out on Twitter:
– 1.92 million Tweets referencing Rob Ford or #fordnation.
– Spikes in conversation around Rob Ford took place on November 5, when he admitted to crack cocaine use (176,000 Tweets), and November 14, when he made explicit comments denying oral sex with a staffer (100,000 mentions).

Top trends associated with Rob Ford on Twitter include:
1. Crack cocaine
2. Scandal
3. #Toronto
4. #topoli
5. Chris Farley
6. Toronto City
7. Matt Lauer
8. Ron Burgundy
9. Crackstarter
10. Bill Maher
11. Prime Minister

But twitter activity wasn’t all about shameless indulgence in scandal and crack smoking mayors, and this year’s most Retweeted Tweets revealed the platform’s ability to unite people to in loss, love, hope and celebration.

Glee star Lea Michele made her first public comment about the loss of her Canadian co-star and partner Cory Monteith with this Twitter tribute, which inspired fans from around the globe to mourn with her:

– Lea’s Tweet hit 408,266 Retweets at its peak
– Was Retweeted from 133 countries
– Reached 10,000 Retweets in four minutes; reached 50,000 Retweets in 35 minutes
– Replied to 44,204 times

Another unsurprising twitter moment was the reaction to the death of actor Paul Walker just a few weeks ago. This statement from his staff announcing the news was retweeted 400,367 times. 

Top 5 Canadian Trends:
1. #cdnpoli
2. #yeg
3. #music
4. #nowplaying
5. Canada

A growing number of celebrities have jumped on board the Twitter bandwagon as well, offering fans a personal glimpse into their daily lives, thoughts, political views, selfies and everything  in between.

Here are just some of the celebs who joined Twitter this year:

Stephen King
Robin Williams
Joe Montana
Kobe Bryant
Brooke Shields
Katie Holmes
Warren Buffett
Hillary Clinton
Phil Jackson
Anna Faris
Roger Federer
Drew Barrymore
Sarah Jessica Parker

Last year, President Obama claimed victory on Twitter before he took the stage to affirm his re-election. Within hours, this Tweet simultaneously became the most Retweeted of 2012 — and the most Retweeted ever – sent by people in more than 200 countries around the world. This Tweet remains the most Retweeted Tweet of all time. 

Clearly, the social media channel isn’t fading out anytime soon. Stay tuned on Monday, where we share the insight of Kirstine Stewart, Managing Director of Twitter Canada.

For the full Year on Twitter recap with customized Twitter timelines, visit 2013.twitter.com. To see the Year on Twitter blog post and video, click here

Want more updates on the most Notable things happening so you know before your colleagues do? Get our exclusive newsletter here.