As 2017 draws to a close, Twitter continues to showcase that it’s the best place to find out what’s happening in India and the world at large. This eventful year, Twitter reflected the vibrant diversity of the Indian society across voices, topics and regions — from Bollywood to South Indian Cinema, Cricket’s Championship Trophy #CT17 to Women’s World Cup #WWC17, and #GST to #JusticeForJallikattu.
India’s entertainment industry became a focal point of global conversations this year, with South Indian films like ‘Baahubali 2’ and ‘Mersal’ breaking barriers (Most Influential Moment of the Year). After becoming the first-ever Tamil film to get a custom Twitter emoji, Mersal generated colossal engagement from the fans of South Indian cinema, only to make #Mersal emerge as the Top Hashtag Trend of the Year on Twitter.
On the back of the South Indian cinema wave, actor Suriya Sivakumar’s (@Suriya_offl) Tweet unveiling the second look for his Tamil film, ‘Thaana Serndha Kootam’ (A Group Formed By Itself) or #TSK, became the Golden Tweet or most Retweeted Tweet of 2017 in India. This is demonstrative of the South Indian entertainment industry truly succeeding in rising to the forefront of Twitter conversations. Suriya’s poster launch on Twitter and his declaration of love for his fans was appreciated by them, which helped the Tweet go viral on Twitter.
While the India vs Pakistan match in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 #CT17 triggered the adrenaline rush on both sides of the border, Mumbai Indians’ (@mipaltan) incredible one-run IPL heist left all cricket aficionados and critics in awe. For the first time ever, Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) and Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) break into the Top 10 Most Followed Indian accounts on Twitter.
Amidst it all, a pattern of women empowerment on Twitter in India emerges this year: from the popularity of the Women’s World Cup hashtag #wwc17, to the conversations of Triple Talaq and #AintNoCinderella on Twitter, to the celebration of women like Deepika Padukone(@deepikapadukone) that stands out among the Most Followed on Twitter.
MOST INFLUENTIAL MOMENTS ON TWITTER IN 2017
Twitter is where Indians go to find out what’s happening in their world right now. From breaking news, entertainment, sports and politics to big events and everyday interests; it’s the live commentary that makes Twitter special. These are the most influential moments on Twitter – where Indians went first to get answers or share their opinions around the biggest conversations happening in India and the world throughout 2017:
South films breaking barriers (Baahubali 2 & Mersal)
From Mersal topping the conversation charts this year to Baahubali 2 breaking global box office records for an Indian film – South films created buzz across the year.
Not just Bigg Boss Hindi, the franchise created mass conversations across the country with Bigg Boss Tamil emerging as one of the most talked about moments of the year.
The controversy around Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film – biopic on Rani Padmavati – created a national conversation on Freedom of Speech and democracy.
NEWS & POLITICS
One year of Demonetization
With the celebration of first anniversary of demonstration, users took on Twitter to share the positive and negatives of the whole process.
Indian Presidential Elections
The new President Ram Nath Kovind is now using the official President of India account @RashtrapatiBhvn. As President Pranab Mukherjee was the 13th President of India, his official Twitter account history was hence archived with the handle @POI13.
Justice for Jallikattu
Massive protests erupted against the Jallikattu ban as thousands of protesters in Madurai, Chennai, Salem and Coimbatore protested against the ban on their beloved bull-chasing sport #Jallikattu. The protests that started in Madurai a day after Pongal festival spread to other parts of Tamil Nadu after police arrested over 200 protesters.
Supreme Court’s ban on Triple Talaq
With the striking down of the controversial Muslim practice of instant divorce, Triple Talaq, in India, Twitter users praised the Supreme Court’s decision. The euphoria over the verdict ensured that #TripleTalaq trended on Twitter on August 22, 2017, peaking with more than 350,000 Tweets.
Arrest of Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the chief of Dera Sachcha Sauda, was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in 2017 after he was convicted of rape. His arrest led to unprecedented violence and Indians across the world took to Twitter to debate their views and opinions on the conviction and the riots.
When India plays Pakistan, it always draws in the eyeballs. When the two rivals met in the finals of an ICC event, it was no surprise that the chatter on Twitter reached an all-time high. #INDvPAK, the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final clash, was the most Tweeted about ODI ever with 1.8 million Tweets.
MI’s incredible one-run IPL heist
Fans took to Twitter expressing shock and jubilation when Mumbai Indians pulled off an improbable win against Pune in the 10th edition of the IPL to seal their third title. In a match that seemed to be going Pune’s way, Mumbai’s bowlers fought back with an uncharacteristically slow knock from MS Dhoni, Mumbai Indians clinched a nail-biting win in the finals by a margin of just one run!
MOST FOLLOWED ACCOUNTS ON TWITTER IN 2017
In the list of 10 Most Followed Indians on Twitter in 2017, PM Narendra Modi (@NarendraModi) retained the #1 position with 37.5 million followers (ahead of some of the most popular Bollywood and Cricket stars), thanks to a follower growth of 52% this year. While actor Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) leaped ahead of Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan), the list also witnessed the entry of two of India’s biggest cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) and Virat Kohli (@imVkohli).