The Year in News 2015
The Year in News 2015
Every social media platform has a differentiating factor that determines how it’s used. LinkedIn, for example, is best suited for networking and business, while Instagram is designed to share photos.
The key differentiation of Twitter has become clear over time: it allows users to stay on top of news and events that are trending all over the world in real-time. It also gives politicians, media, business leaders, and celebrities a soapbox to get their opinions out to the general public. This creates a natural feedback loop to reinforce what is “trending” at any given time.
Echelon Insights, a market research company, has taken advantage of Twitter’s gold mine of data to create a visualization of news in 2015. By analyzing 459.9 million tweets from Americans over the course of the last year, we can now see what topics trended, along with the timing and magnitude of each trending topic.
To ensure that trending news stood out, Echelon Insights removed some of the data outliers related to perennial conversations that get mentions, including President Obama (55 million mentions) and the Republican and Democratic parties. With that filter applied, the most discussed person or issue in the news this year was Donald Trump, with 43 million U.S. mentions, followed by Hillary Clinton, with 31.5 million.
Most Popular News Stories of 2015
|Subject||Number of tweets
|Donald Trump||43.0 million|
|Hillary Clinton||31.5 million|
|Iraq & ISIS||24.0 million|
|Bernie Sanders||19.2 million|
|Freddie Gray||13.1 million|
|Jeb Bush||12.5 million|
|Planned Parenthood||11.2 million|
The above trending topics were relatively steady and newsworthy throughout the year. However, Echelon also tried to get an idea of the news stories that “spiked” the most by filtering out some of the more constant topics of conversation. Here are the top five stories along with the mentions they gained in the week that they dominated headlines:
Top 5 News Events of 2015
|Top Events||Number of tweets|
|The Paris attacks, Nov. 8–15||8.9 million|
|Freddie Gray & Baltimore, Apr. 26-May 3||7.1 million|
|Donald Trump & Muslim immigration, Dec. 6:||5.0 million|
|The Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage nationwide, Jun. 21||4.9 million|
|The Charleston shooting, Jun. 14||3.2 million|
The terror attacks in Paris dominated all headlines with 8.9 million tweets. Here’s a final look at the data, except this time it is the same filtered data visualized by mentions per day.
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