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This year India was quite vocal on Twitter

From Rio Olympics to demonetisation to the Global Citizen Festival in India and other sporting events, Indians expressed themselves freely and openly on the social media platform

This year India was quite vocal on Twitter

From Rio Olympics to demonetisation to the Global Citizen Festival in India and other sporting events, Indians expressed themselves freely and openly on the social media platform

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | December 7, 2016


2016 was a special year for Indians to join the global conversations on Twitter as well as for India to start global conversations on the world’s largest live communications platform. This year, Twitter reflected and influenced Indian society that was united together in celebration, victory, protests, revolutionary reforms, crises, and significant cultural moments. Twitter gives people a voice and the people of India empowered themselves to speak up, to help, to inspire, to debate, to build safer and healthier cities, to ask for better public services, and to build communities together.

The country’s trending moments became worldwide conversations on Twitter, be it PM Modi’s revolutionary demonetisation reform (most influential moment of the year), Delhi’s rising pollution problem, the debut of Global Citizen Festival in India, and the Bollywood glam at the Filmfare Awards. Meanwhile, proud Indian voices joined the global Twitter community when India’s women athletes broke new ground at the Rio 2016 Olympics, cricketers Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni achieved milestone successes at the international World T20 tournament, and global cultural celebrations took place for Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and the International Day of Yoga.

PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar, who won a million hearts on Twitter during the Rio Olympics, made #Rio2016 the Top Hashtag Trend of the Year on Twitter. Their medal victories and near-misses inspired women everywhere, and showcased a spirit of unwavering determination and grit.

Virat Kohli's tweet in support of Anushka Sharma was the golden tweet or the most retweeted tweet of 2016. He encouraged his fans and critics, who attributed his outstanding performance in the ICC World T20 to their break-up, to focus instead on empathy and community building. It's an emphatic example of an Indian youth icon using Twitter’s public platform to change the conversation by standing up for the woman in his life and advocating a more positive online behaviour. It was well-appreciated by his followers and other like-minded individuals, which helped make it go viral on Twitter.

Here’s a closer look at the #YearOnTwitter in 2016 for India:

Most influential moments on Twitter in 2016

Twitter is where Indians go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now. From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics -- across big events to everyday interests with all the live commentary that makes Twitter special. These are the most influential moments on Twitter -- where Indians went first to ask questions, get answers or share ideas about the biggest conversations happening in India and the world throughout 2016.

  1. Modi's demonetisation scheme
  2. Women athletes at Rio 2016
  3. INDvPAK at WT20
  4. Delhi Pollution
  5. India celebrates Diwali
  6. INDvAUS at WT20
  7. International Day of Yoga
  8. Global Citizen India
  9. India celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi
  10. Filmfare Awards


Top hashtag trends on Twitter in 2016

Hashtags are the anchors of any solid conversation; they enable users to discover and participate in what others are talking about for an issue they care about. With seven of the top 10 hashtags this year related to the #Rio2016 Olympics and #WT20 cricket, sports dominated the trending Twitter conversations for the nation. The government’s flagship programme, #MakeInIndia is also one of the most popular hashtag trends of the year with its global appeal.

  1. #Rio2016
  2. #IndvsPak
  3. #WT20
  4. #IndvsAus
  5. #MakeInIndia
  6. #IndvsWI
  7. #IndvsBan
  8. #PVSindhu
  9. #surgicalstrike
  10. #JNU

Most followed accounts on Twitter in 2016

The list of the most followed Indians on Twitter in 2016 saw PM Narendra Modi (@NarendraModi) finally reaching the #1 position with 24.6 million followers (ahead of the entire gamut of Bollywood stars) by adding a whopping 8.8 million followers this year alone. Meanwhile, Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) leaped ahead of Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) into the #7 spot with her global appeal from her hit US show ‘Quantico’ and her debut on the Oscar stage as a presenter earlier this year.

No. Name Twitter Account Followers as of Dec 5, 2016
1 Narendra Modi @narendramodi 25.2m
2 Amitabh Bachchan @SrBachchan 23.8m
3 Shah Rukh Khan @iamsrk 22.4m
4 Salman Khan @BeingSalmanKhan 20.6m
5 Aamir Khan @aamir_khan 19.2m
6 Deepika Padukone @deepikapadukone 16.7m
7 Priyanka Chopra @priyankachopra 15.7m
8 Hrithik Roshan @iHrithik 15.5m
9 Akshay Kumar @akshaykumar 15.3m
10 A.R.Rahman @arrahman 12.7m

New influential accounts on Twitter in 2016

As the Twitter flock continues to grow, here are some of the notable people who joined Twitter in 2016:

  1. Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan): The Tamil superstar made a memorable First Tweet with a video of him singing the National Anthem, composed by veteran music director Ilayaraja. Kamal garnered over 30,000 followers in 24 hours which was a reflection of the admiration and support he receives from his fans.
  2. Sakshi Malik (@SakshiMalik): India’s pride Sakshi Malik joined Twitter earlier this year. She made waves on the platform with her performance at the Rio Olympic Games by clinching the bronze medal in wrestling. Her video tweet where she is thanking her fans was also her most retweeted tweet.
  3. Dipa Karmakar (@DipaKarmakar): Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics joined Twitter during the Rio games. She took to Twitter to connect with her supporters and wished them a Happy Independence Day in her most retweeted tweet.

Twitter is also offering a year-end special emoji so people can share the biggest moments and memories of 2016. If you tweet with #ThisHappened hashtag from now until January 5, 2017, the special Twitter emoji will come with your tweet.

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