Maybe 2020 wasn’t such a bad year after all.
While YouTube skipped its infamous Rewind this year, claiming it was out of sensitivity for the tumultuous events of 2020, Twitter hasn’t seen the same backlash — and summed up 2020 with the tag #ThisHappened.
In a blog post Monday, the company highlighted the year’s most liked tweets, top trending hashtags, most retweeted users, and most used emoji.
The top hashtag of 2020, unsurprisingly, was #COVID19. The second most popular hashtag this year was #BlackLivesMatter, which correlates with the historic protests against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of George Floyd. The tag #StayHome came in third as users across the world encouraged each other to continue social distancing in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
George Floyd was also the third most tweeted-about person in 2020. He died when Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and ignored Floyd’s insistence that he couldn’t breathe. His death inspired protests and forced institutions across the world to grapple with systemic racism.
The first and second most tweeted-about people were President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, was the fourth most tweeted-about person, followed by former president Barack Obama and K-pop sensation BTS.
The most popular emoji this year included the tears of joy emoji and the crying emoji, which seems appropriate given the state of the world. The pleading eyes emoji, now known as the simp emoji, came in third.
Despite the largely tragic events of this year, Twitter noted that users had a “renewed sense of gratitude and support for our communities.” In 2020, tweets expressing gratitude increased by 20 percent globally, with thanks to doctors and teachers up by 135 percent and 30 percent, respectively. The phrases “essential workers” and “frontline workers” were tweeted more than 17 million times.
Without further ado, here are the five most liked tweets of 2020.
The most liked tweets of the year:
1. The announcement of Chadwick Boseman’s death
2. Barack Obama paying tribute to Kobe Bryant
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
3. A snarky hat tip to astronauts
Congratulations to the Astronauts that left Earth today. Good choice
— Andy Milonakis (@andymilonakis) May 30, 2020
4. Macaulay Culkin celebrating his birthday
Hey guys, wanna feel old?
— Macaulay Culkin (@IncredibleCulk) August 26, 2020
5. Kamala Harris’ now-viral victory call
You can read Twitter’s full rundown of this year here.