2018 on Social Media: Trump, #MeToo and 'Black Panther' Lead Online Conversations

11:04 AM 12/21/2018

by Natalie Jarvey

THR parses year-end data from Twitter, Google and Instagram to reveal the top moments of 2018.

The world lived out some of the biggest moments of 2018 on social media, from the Winter Olympics to the tweets of President Donald Trump to the loss of such icons as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. 

The 2018 roundups from Google, Instagram and Twitter reveal the most discussed moments, topics and people of the year. Korean pop group BTS, for example, dominated on multiple platforms, while movements like #MeToo and March For Our Lives made an impact across social media. 

THR parses the data of what took the Internet by storm in 2018. 

  • Donald Trump, BTS, Olympics Dominate Twitter Conversations

    Many of 2018's biggest media moments played out on Twitter, starting with the often all-consuming Olympics. Feb. 25, the day of the Closing Ceremony for the Pyeongchang Winter Games, was Twitter's most-tweeted day of 2018, proving that sports still have the power to become a water cooler moment. 

    With politics also dominating conversations this year, it's no surprise that President Donald Trump, an active tweeter, was the most tweeted about U.S. political figure (followed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton). Movements like March for Our Lives and the NFL protests also broke out enough that Twitter gave them their own category. The #MeToo moment spurred by allegations against Harvey Weinstein at the end of 2017 came in at No. 4 on that list of most-tweeted about movements. 

    Meanwhile, cultural phenomenons like Korean pop group BTS, Disney film Black Panther and new Los Angeles Laker LeBron James were among the most-tweeted about this year. BTS, which has 17.4 million Twitter followers, were the most-tweeted about people in 2018, as well as the most-tweeted about celebrities or musicians. James, for his part, was the second most-tweeted celebrity and the most-tweeted athlete, followed by Colin Kaepernick and Kobe Bryant.

    The most-tweeted movie of the year was Black Panther, followed by The Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Deadpool 2. The most-tweeted about TV shows were Saturday Night Live, Roseanne, Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead and Big Brother. On the streaming side, the top three most-tweeted about shows were all Netflix titles: 13 Reasons Why, Stranger Things and Black Mirror

  • Black Panther, Roseanne Top Google Searches

    What is Bitcoin? How to vote? Who won the Mega Millions? 

    Those were some of the top search queries on Google in 2018. The search giant's annual end-of-year lists typically offer an interesting glimpse into the minds of Internet users and 2018 was no different.

    The most-searched terms of the year were dominated by world events like World Cup and Hurricane Florence and high-profile deaths, including Mac Miller, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and Stan Lee. Meanwhile, the only entertainment property to break into the top 10 was Disney blockbuster Black Panther

    Demi Lovato, who entered rehab after overdosing earlier this year, was the most-searched person of 2018, following by newly appointed Duchess Meghan Markle, Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, YouTube star Logan Paul and Khloe Kardashian. 

    The most-searched TV show of the year was the one that arguably made the most news: Roseanne, which was revived and then subsequently canceled following a racist tweet from star Roseanne Barr. Other top-searched shows were Altered Carbon, The Haunting of Hill House, American Idol and Lost in Space. Meanwhile, Black Panther led the film industry as the most-searched movie, followed by Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War and A Quiet Place

  • #MeToo, #TimesUp Have Instagram Moment

    During a year in which the heart emoji was used 14 billion times in Instagram comments and the smiley face emoji was called out for its high volume of use at Disneyland Tokyo, it could seem like the Facebook-owned app was all about feel good moments. But it also became a place where advocacy hashtags like #MeToo and #TimesUp thrived. 

    The #MeToo hashtag was used 1.5 million times during 2018, followed by #TimesUp (597,000) and #MarchForOurLives (562,000). 

    The app, which in June topped 1 billion users worldwide, also revealed that the #InMyFeelingsChallenge, in which people jump out of a moving car and dance to the popular Drake song, was the top dance movement of the year. Meanwhile, the Fortnite hashtag had the highest growth for an Instagram community, and supergroup BTS reigned with the top fandom community.