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#SocialThrowback: Twitter in the year 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. Twitter reflected the vibrant diversity of Indian society across voices, topics and regions this year. From Bollywood to South India, #GST to #JusticeForJallikattu, Cricket #ChampionshipTrophy to the #WomensWorldCup2017, Twitter 2017 was eventful.

India’s entertainment industry became a prime point of global conversations and buzzes this year, with South films like Baahubali 2 and Mersal breaking barriers.  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 – Twitter 2017. This is demonstrative of the South Indian entertainment industry truly succeeding in rising to the forefront of Twitter conversations.

Conversations on Twitter also echoed the nation’s interest and growing activism towards addressing important issues such as the implementation of GST, the first year anniversary of Demonetization, Justice for Jallikattu, Indian Presidential Elections, Supreme Court’s ban on Triple Talaq and the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim. 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 victory got cricket fans in a frenzy. 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 celebration of women like Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) that stands out among the Most Followed on Twitter.

Hashtags are the anchors of conversations on Twitter; they enable people to discover and participate in what others are talking about for an issue they care about. With 4 of the top 10 hashtags, this year related to cricket — #IPL, #ct17, #wwc17and #indvpak, sports dominated the trending Twitter conversations for the nation. This year, there was also a spike in interest around the performance of women’s cricket team. India’s biggest tax reform, GST, also made it to the list due to the sheer magnitude of conversations it generated on the platform.

These are the most influential moments on Twitter – where Indians went first to get answers or share their opinions on the biggest conversations happening in India and the world throughout 2017.

Entertainment

South Indian films like Baahubali 2 breaking global box office records and Mersal, topping the conversation charts this year created the buzz across the world.

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

With the celebration of the first anniversary of demonstration, users took on Twitter to share the positive and negatives of the whole process.

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 sports #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.

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.

In another side, 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.

Sports

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.

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 2017

In the list of top 10 Most Followed Indians on Twitter in 2017, PM Narendra Modi (@NarendraModi) remained the #1 position with 37.5 million followers, thanks to a growth of 52% this year. While actor Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) jumped ahead of Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan), the list also witnessed the entry of two of India’s biggest cricketers, Legendary Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) and Indian Cricket Team’s current captain Virat Kohli (@imVkohli).


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