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13 World Events That Rocked the Social Media World in 2011

Social media is most often used to keep friends connected with friends. However, every once in a while, something happens that ignites the social sphere with discussion, news, controversy and caring.

These are some of the most powerful, impactful, viral and moving social media events of 2011.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami




Japan’s earthquake and tsunami touched the world. The resulting chaos at Fukushima and the nuclear radiation brought increased concern about nuclear power globally. The world pooled together its resources to help Japan recover.

An hour after the quake hit Japan, there were reports that Twitter was experiencing 1,200 tweets posted every minute. And at most times today, eight or nine of Twitter's top 10 Trending Tropics — such as #prayforjapan, #tsunami and #japan — were directly related to the earthquake and tsunami.

On Facebook, people not only posted thoughts and prayers for the people of Japan, but also used their updates to tell friends and family where they are and how they are doing. Facebook pages related to the disaster, such as Japan Earthquake, also popped up, grabbing nearly 3,000 followers in about 12 hours.


Death of Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs Death


Steve Jobs was one of the most iconic and influential people of the Silicon Valley. He revolutionized three different industries: The PC industry, the music industry and the animation industry.

Steve Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, created the first personal computer to have an integrated keyboard. They were the first to create a completely workable all-in-one computer. He created the iPod, the first mobile device capable of holding over 1,000 songs. He created iTunes, the most popular music store on the planet. He also helped found Pixar, which created the first computer generated full picture movie in history.

Internet users likely broke records as they jammed Twitter with tweets marked #iSad and #ThankYouSteve and flooded Facebook's news streams, swiftly spreading the news of Steve Jobs's death. Twitter activity hit 10,000 tweets per second following the announcement about Apple's co-founder death.


UK Riots


UK Riots


The riots in the UK were blamed in large part to social media. Riots were organized and incited through text messages, social media sites and other forms of Web 2.0 communication.

During the riots, questions of how much control governments should or shouldn't have over mobile communications became a central concern.

Here's a video that reveals how English rioters used Social Media.


Death of Muammar Gaddafi



Muammar Gaddafi, died on 20th October, 2011 during the Libyan Civil War 2011. He was fired at by the NTC and captured alive but wounded after taking refuge in a large drainage pipe with his loyal bodyguards. In a video published soon after, he can be seen draped with a cloth and his body being paraded and kicked by anti-Gaddafi protestors.

On Twitter, many users expressed joy at Gadaffi’s death, including tweets in Arabic saying things like “God is great” and “Libya is now 100% DEGAFFINATED”.


Social Media IPO’s


Facebook IPO


Pandora IPOed at $2.56 billion, LinkedIn IPOed at $4.2 billion and Facebook’s IPO is estimated to be at over $50 billion, creating over 1,000 millionaires overnight.

Social media has taken over the web sphere and social media sites, which hardly had any attention at all just five years ago, are poised to take center stage of both the internet and the business worlds.


Hurricane Irene


Hurricane Irene


Hurricane Irene had windspeeds so dangerous that President Obama declared an evacuation of New York City. In addition to whipping up the seas and the winds, Hurricane Irene also whipped up the twittersphere.

Tweeters were using social media to keep one another up to date on danger zones, safety tips, family information and more. It put social media to a humanitarian use. More than a million Twitter messages were posted about Irene.

A Facebook page was created to help strangers try to return found items to their owners. As of today, more than 98,600 people had "liked" the page and many had already posted images of items they've found.

Wikileaks Scandal




Wikileaks is an organization that collects leaked intel from private companies and governments and published them free of charge. Wikileaks has caused scandals which spread through social media amongst the US government, worldwide governments and Fortune 500 companies.

Many equate Wikileaks to being the social sphere’s underground news source. It’s not for profit and doesn’t have their own publication. Instead, they let readers and users spread the news for them.


Middle East Revolution



Social Media played an important role in organizing protests, revolutions, build public support, and government crackdowns. The year 2011 saw uprisings in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya etc.

The usage of social media was extensive. One Egyptian activist had tweeted during the protests, "We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world."


British Royal Wedding


William Kate Kiss Balcony


The British Royal Wedding in 2011 was the first royal wedding since social media took off. The wedding was streamed live on the internet and users commented on the wedding alongside the event.

In addition to the television audiences, the ceremony attracted 72 million live streams and a reach of 101 million streams on YouTube across 188 countries. The wedding has been listed in the 2012 Guinness Book Of World Records for the record of Most Live Streams For A Single Event with its 72 million streams.

The British Royal Wedding was an occasion that the whole world talked about, not just the British.


Rebecca Black’s “Friday”


Rebecca Black’s “Friday” ignited a storm of controversy in the social sphere and quite a bit of all-out bashing. As of today, the video has more than 95,000 likes and 380,000 dislikes which is almost four times more “dislikes” than “likes” on YouTube. The video raises questions about both youth and fame, as well as the direction of the music industry in general.


Why This Kolaveri Di


Why This Kolaveri Di


Why This Kolaveri Di was the most downloaded song on mobile devices in India within just 18 days of its release. The song was the first song in Tamil, rather than Hindi, to be shown on MTV India.

The Twitter hashtag #kolaveri quickly hit Twitter’s top charts after its launch. The kicker? The song is a soundtrack for a movie – And the movie hasn’t even been released yet.

The song spread through radio and press, but many believe that its fame and popularity was caused primarily by social media. Till date it has more than 30 Million Youtube views.


Launch of Google Plus


Google Plus


Google Plus was the fastest growing social media network with 62 million users within 6 months of its launch. It introduced innovative new features, such as “Hangouts,” which allowed people to create impromptu video conferences. It introduced “Circles,” which allowed you to easily control who gets to see what on your social network.


Occupy Wall Street


Occupy Wall Street


Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing protest movement that quickly took hold on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and many other social media networks. Bloggers all over the world took up the cause and helped spread the movement.

It started off with a poster in the middle of Adbusters magazine and #occupywallstreet with the hashtag on the cover. The Twitter feed started going crazy with that hashtag. The idea quickly spawned protests in other parts of the world: Occupy Dublin (Ireland,) Occupy London, Occupy Melbourne and more.

Occupy Wall Street clearly demonstrated the power of social media for organizing groups and moving the world politically.


These were some of the most powerful social media events of the year. Each of these events reached millions of people and further established social media as a dynamic way to spread ideas and information.

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January 6th, 2012 by admin

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