Once upon a time, Twitter (do you remember when it was called twttr?) was just a simple tool that enabled users to say what was on their minds. Now, having experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years, and being embraced by celebrities, government organizations and PR companies around the world, it’s much more than that, and it’s clearly visible in Twitter’s list of the most powerful tweets of the year.
Among Twitter’s choices, some tweets really made a change, such as Leigh Fazzina’s cry for help after a biking accident, and Ann Curry’s plea for the U.S. Air Force to let Doctors Without Borders planes land in Haiti.
Some were a sign of the times, such as the White House welcoming Russian President Medvedev to Twitter, or Jonathan Schwartz announcing his last day as the CEO of Sun on the microblogging service.
However, we feel that what really showed the power of Twitter weren’t individual tweets, but rather avalanches of messages showing that the public really cares about some topics, like the Haiti earthquake and the Gulf oil spill and — perhaps more importantly — that it has opinions that cannot easily be swayed by PR departments and soothing TV statements.
Check out the full list of the most powerful tweets of 2010
1. After the massive 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, Doctors Without Borders flew in a team of physicians to assist the wounded, but they were unable to get clearance to land the plane. Reporter Ann Curry used Twitter to convince the U.S. Air Force to allow the flight to land.
The Tweet: Ann Curry – find a way to let Doctors without Borders planes land in Haiti: http://bit.ly/8hYZOK THE most effective at this.
2. When Russian President joined Twitter, the White House immediately reached out to welcome him to the Twitterverse. Obama’s quote: Red phones no longer required.
The Tweet: The White House – “Welcome to @twitter President Medvedev!” RT @KremlinRussia_E: “Hello everyone! I’m on Twitter, and this is my first tweet.”
3. Twitter to the rescue! When she crashed her bike in a forest with no cell phone reception, a gravely injured triathlete saved her own life when she tweeted out a desperate call for help.
The Tweet: Leigh Fazzina – “I’ve had a serious injury and NEED Help! Can somone please call Winding Trails in Farmington, CT tell them I’m stuck bike crash in woods.”
4. After the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, causing one of the largest in oil spills in history, it was a parody account, not BP’s official Twitter account, that defined the discussion–spoofing the company’s attempts to improve its public image. “Gulf Oil Spill” was the #1 Trend on Twitter in 2010.
The Tweet: BP Public Relations – “Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.”
5. In a royal first, Clarence House, the Prince of Wales’ private office, created a Twitter account to announce Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton. Not how Henry VIII did it.
The Tweet: Clarence House – “tThe Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton – www.princeofwales.gov.uk
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