17 December 2009 | Henry Elliss

Twitter releases 2009 trends, after ‘cleansing’ the data?

The folk at Twitter used their end-of-year blog post this week to highlight some of the top trends of 2009 (scroll down to read the post here – annoyingly they don’t have permalinks to actual posts). Rather than just lump them all together, they’ve put some time in to analysing the data and have grouped them in to lots of different categories…


A number of interesting things jump out at me when I look at those lists. Namely:

  1. I’m clearly not a teenager anymore, as I haven’t got the faintest clue who Adam Lambert, along with a number of the other entries. Thankfully I think I’m fine on about 90% of them though!
  2. Twitter’s US presence is clearly a lot larger than it was at the start of the year, with US-centric terms dominating every list – the one exception being sport, where Wimbledon, Chelsea and Liverpool are making a stand.
  3. The data has quite blatantly been sanitised. How come MusicMonday is there, but FollowFriday has been taken out? What about the Twitter hash-tag “success stories”, like #MoonFruit and the like? There are lots of other examples of this, but Twitter (as usual) give no indication as to their pruning criteria…

Sadly, for a very social company, Twitter take the counter-intuitive step of not allowing comments on their own blog, so there’s little chance of getting an answer to the pruning question. But the lists are still a very interesting summary of the year none-the-less…

Henry Elliss

Henry Elliss

Managing Director at Tamar, I've also headed-up the Search team for 7 years.

  • Jamie

    I wonder if that’s *all* the terms or just the one’s they’ve managed to categorise. I find it interesting that there’s no appearance by any X-Factor terms in there. Maybe I’m just biased being from the UK and it was all about time zones, but X-Factor dominated the Twitter trending topics almost every Saturday and Sunday night over here for the past months…

    Regarding US-centric stats though, I’m happy for the UK to take credit for #uksnow, Susan Boyle, Christian Bale, Harry Potter and Slumdog Millionnaire rather than just the sports ones! We’ll even take TweetDeck too if that’s ok! :-)