Southern actor Vijay clearly knows how to ride the trend wave on Twitter. The Kollywood star's tweet of a selfie with fans in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, in February was the most retweeted (145.8k) tweet in the entertainment category on Indian Twitter in 2020, according to Twitter India's annual report, #ThisHappened2020, released on Tuesday. Last year, Vijay had topped the most tweeted hashtag for his movie #Bigil in the same category on the micro-blogging site.
The 2020 list is based on the number of retweets, likes, and quote tweets by users from the start of the year till 15 November. Twitter has 18.9 million users in India and the third-largest user base, according to Statista’s data till October.
In politics, the most retweeted tweet was by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (106.5k) with photos showing his support for the lighting of lamps at 9 pm for 9 minutes in April. In August, former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni's tweet appreciating the prime minister's letter acknowledging his contribution to Indian cricket topped the sports category with 73k retweets. Tata Trust chairman Ratan Tata's tweet during the first phase of the covid-19 lockdown in March, announcing ₹500 crore for necessary resources needed to fight the pandemic, was retweeted 58.1k times in the business category.
The announcement by national cricket team captain Virat Kohli in August about he and his wife actress Anushka Sharma expecting their first child in January got the most likes (642.8k), while Amitabh Bachchan's about testing positive for covid-19 became the most quoted tweet (43.6k).
Obviously, this year's most top trending hashtag was #Covid19. The other two widely used hashtags in current affairs were #SushantSinghRajput, with which Twitterati paid tribute on the actor's sudden demise, and #Hathras, with which users poured outrage over the alleged gang rape of a Dalit teenager in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
Sushant Singh Rajput's last film Dil Bechara was the most the most-talked-about movie on Twitter, apart from Tamil film Soorarai Pottru, which released last month, and Sarileru Neekevvaru, which released in January. Mirzapur 2, Money Heist, and the Sushmita Sen starrer Aarya found the most mentions among web series.
And then, we were three! Arriving Jan 2021 ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/0BDSogBM1n— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 27, 2020
With people stuck at home for most of the year, #Photography, #Yoga and #Poetry trended regularly. While reruns of #Ramayan and #Mahabharat saw traction, #Pokiri, a 2006 Telugu movie, was also among the top runners in nostalgia related tweets. The most tweeted meme title went to #Binod, a comment by two YouTubers that took a life of its own on Twitterverse.
Although people couldn't attend the Indian Premier League matches in person this season, they certainly got #IPL2020 trending on Twitter, with #WhistlePodu and #TeamIndia being other hashtags widely used in sports.
According to Twitter India managing director Manish Maheshwari, the platform saw diverse emotions from Indians, expressed through the tweets.
"From the fight against this global pandemic, rejoicing in celebratory moments, standing up for those communities impacted by the pandemic, to bonding over rediscovered shows, interests and memes, India came together beautifully on Twitter this year,” he said.