Year in Review -- 2012 on Social Media

Rachel Ramsey : Social Spotlight
Rachel Ramsey
Graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Media Arts and Design and a minor in Communication Studies
| Welcome to Social Spotlight! When I'm not covering a variety of technology and communications industries - everything from the cloud and VoIP to customer relationship management and data centers - you will find me on social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, foursquare, YouTube, Tumblr... you name it, I'm there

Year in Review -- 2012 on Social Media

As we inch closer to the New Year, social networks are rounding up 2012 with the top highlights, trends and events of the past 12 months. Most of these reports came out before the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT shooting and Christmas -- two 2012 events that dominated social media and I think belong on all of these lists.



By now, we’ve gathered that if something big is going on, you can always count on Facebook to find out a) what is happening and b) what all of your friends think about it. As a population, it’s just what we do – share.

With Facebook’s 2012 year in review, users can revisit the 20 biggest moments on their Facebook Timeline including life events, highlighted posts and popular stories. Here are some of the top trends on Facebook this year by categories.

2012 was the year of memes.

  1. TBH (to be honest)
  2. YOLO (you only live once)
  3. KONY
  4. One-word comment
  5. Gangnam Style
  6. Cinnamon challenge
  7. Cray
  8. SMH (shaking my head)
  9. Big Bird
  10. Linsanity


  1. U.S. Presidential Election
  2. Superbowl XLVI
  3. Death of Whitney Houston
  4. Superstorm Sandy
  5. London 2012 Olympics
  6. Death of Trayvon Martin
  7. Facebook IPO
  8. Aurora shootings
  9. Death of Dick Clark
  10. Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage.


  1. Duck Dynasty
  2. Honey Boo Boo
  3. Big Bang Theory
  4. Game of Thrones
  5. Downtown Abbey
  6. Breaking Amish
  7. Ink Master
  8. Long Island Medium
  9. Wife Swap
  10. Two Broke Girls



Top 2012 Google searches included Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style and Hurricane Sandy. Image searches were for One Direction, Selena Gomez and iPhone 5, athlete searches were for Jeremy Lin, Michael Phelps and Peyton Manning, events were for Hurricane Sandy, Kate Middleton Pictures Released and Olympics 2012 and top feature film searches were for The Hunger Games, Skyfall and Prometheus.

twitter_273x178.jpgTwitter has quickly become a blend between being a real-time news source, an instant source of memes and a personal diary for users’ opinions on everything happening in the world. Included in the year wrap-up includes Golden Tweets, Pulse of the planet, Only on Twitter, Trends, New Voices and Your year on Twitter. Partnering with Vizify, a personal website that provides interactive infographics powered by your data, your year on Twitter includes a golden tweet from 2012, a golden follower, key words I tweeted and how many responses, and how many tweets since January 2012. Users have the option to share the golden tweets and most talked-about topics, as well as issue a “Thank you” to your golden follower.


The top tweet of 2012 is by Barack Obama after the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, which he tweeted, “Four more years,” accompanied by a photo of the first couple hugging. Other golden tweets included tweets by Justin Bieber, TJ Lang, Team GB and actor Kouichi Yamadera.



When it comes to taking a look at past events, there’s no better medium than the social media photo sharing site that gives us a visually appealing look at these events. From Lo-Fi and X-Pro II to Amaro and Nashville, if there’s a photo, there’s a filter for it. Instagram helps judge what were considered some of the biggest events based on how many users tag a photo with a hashtag or location.


Besides the top events Instagram listed, users can also browse more photos of events from around the world in 2012 by browsing blog posts with the “Current Events” tag.



Each year brings more infamous statuses, tweets, photos and searches. However, 2012 wouldn’t be complete without sharing videos. YouTube’s 2012 rewind featured the most popular clips, including Call Me Maybe covers, Gangnam Style and Flex Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall. In 2012, users watched four billion hours of video a month.

“Millions of creators are using YouTube channels to experiment with innovative forms of entertainment, explore their passions and interests, and take creativity and pop culture to new levels. 2012’s top trending videos showcase this creative ingenuity in ways we'd never before thought possible,” said YouTube in a blog post.

Here's an infographic of the 2012 in a summary. (Click for larger image)

That wraps up some of the 2012 reviews for the major social media sites used by billions of users around the world. Stay tuned for what 2013 has to bring and what we will do to document it! Happy New Year.

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