With 2016 drawing to a close, it's time to look back and think about the moments the we will most remember about this year. And thanks to Twitter, knowing just which moments stood out the most in the year has never been easier. The social media platform has collected the top ten most used hashtags of the year to highlight the events and trends that defined 2016.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter's #ThisHappened list for 2016 is dominated by political hashtags, but there's also a smattering of big entertainment milestones in there. Take a look at the top ten hashtags of 2016 below.
As is evident, major international sporting events such as the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2016 Euro football championship dominated Twitter over the summer as two of the most tweeted hashtags of the year. It shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Olympics took the top spot given that it involves every country in the world and takes over network TV and the news cycle for nearly a full month. Of course, it was helped even more this year by gold medal-winning showings from star athletes like Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, and Usain Bolt.
And just as the summer Olympics comes around every four years, so does a presidential election, which helped push the general election hashtag to the second most tweeted of 2016. The controversial election of Donald Trump also gave people on Twitter a lot to say, as did Britain's surprising decision to exit from the European Union in what was dubbed Brexit. Amidst this volatile political atmosphere, racially charged crimes also became much more visible in the news, galvanizing the Black Lives Matter movement to become more vocal online.
But to so many people, what really sticks out about 2016 is all of the celebrity deaths that happened this year, which are represented in the #RIP hashtag that was tweeted so often in 2016. Legends like Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, and many more passed away this year, leading fans across the world to turn to Twitter to mourn.
In the face of all that sadness, there was some fun, though! A few bits of entertainment shine through the heavy hashtags as the happier spots of 2016. The Pokemon Go phenomenon drove countless gamers outside to catch 'em all, and then to tweet about 'em all, making the hit gaming app one of the biggest hashtags of the year. And two non-sporting television events other had us all buzzing as well: the Oscars and Game of Thrones, the latter of which had Twitter users on the edge of their seats with massive reveals about characters Jon Snow and Hodor.
Take a look back on the year in more detail by checking out Twitter's video below.