These 4 Moments and Chicken Nuggets Defined Twitter in 2017

Twitter 2017 Data
Photo: Photo Illustration: Twitter, Getty Images, beyonce/Instagram, Netflix

Twitter's role in 2017 has been broad, from publicizing celebrity feuds to announcing new Washington policies. But nothing swept the social media platform like one man's plea for chicken nuggets.

In April, Carter Wilkerson, a Nevada college student, posted a tweet asking Wendy's how many retweets it would take for the chain to offer him a year of free chicken nuggets. It went viral, making Twitter history as the most retweeted post ever, according to the tech company's year-end data, released this morning. (Bringing in 3.6 million retweets, Wilkerson came short of Wendy's answer: 18 million. But, rest assured, the student received his nuggets anyway.)

The next most-retweeted posts struck a more serious tone: Barack Obama's tweet featuring a Nelson Mandela quote came in second, followed by Penn State's post-hurricane pledge to donate $0.15 per retweet to Houston and Ariana Grande's heartfelt message following the terrorist bombing that occurred at the end of her concert in Manchester, England.

The platform proved that its U.S. user base cares about stars of all kinds, with the most shared @TwitterMoments being NASA's discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a nearby star followed by Beyonce's pregnancy announcement.

Game of Thrones and Stranger Things were unsurprisingly the most buzzed-about TV shows on Twitter in the U.S. Globally, K-pop boy band BTS was the year's most tweeted-about celebrity handle, while @RealDonaldTrump was the most tweeted-about elected official. People made their anti- and pro-Trump sentiments heard in the form of hashtags, with #Resist, #MAGA, and #ImpeachTrump claiming the top three activism hashtags in the U.S.

Want to know more about how social media shaped 2017? Find out which fashion brand ruled the Twittersphere and browse through the most-liked Instagram photos of the year.

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