Twitter’s 10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010

Twitter, as part of its review of 2010, has just released what it thinks are the 10 most powerful individual tweets of the year–from a field of 25 billion. And it’s not all about celebrity.



Twitter, as part of its review of 2010, has just released what it thinks are the 10 most powerful individual tweets of the year–from a field of 25 billion. And it’s not all about celebrity.

Perhaps conscious of its increasingly important role in world affairs, driven by historic moments like the Iranian election protests and gulf oil spill–both of which were news items that the world used Twitter to announce and talk about–Twitter’s team has looked at its archive for 2010 and tried to identify which 10 of its tweets were the most important for this year.

The company explains “every day we are inspired by people using Twitter in unexpected ways to make the world a better place. Powerful Tweets have impact, relevance, and resonance.” To mine the most powerful of 25 billion tweets, the team didn’t necessarily have to find those that came from important Tweeters (say, President Obama) or concerned internationally important events, but they had to carry a degree of authority and power in just 140 characters.

Here they are:

  1. Ann Curry tweets to convince the USAF to allow a Medecins Sans Frontiers flight to land in Haiti “@usairforce find a way to let Doctors without Borders planes land in Haiti: THE most effective at this.”
  2. The White House tweets to welcome president Medvedev to Twitter. No “red phone” required. “Welcome to @twitter President Medvedev! RT @KremlinRussia_E: Hello everyone! I’m on Twitter, and this is my first tweet.” 
  3. Cyclist Leigh Fazzina badly hurt herself in a bike crash, pleaded for assistance with a tweet, ” “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. On a fake PR account for BP, a jokester responds to early news about the gulf spill: “Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.”
  5. Ecuador’s President, facing a coup attempt, tweeted out a state of emergency on September 30th “Gobierno declara estado de Excepción #Ecuador #30S”
  6. Clarence House, the office of the Prince of Wales, announced a new Royal Wedding “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton –”
  7. Sun’s CEO resigned in a tweet “Today’s my last day at Sun. I’ll miss it. Seems only fitting to end on a #haiku. Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more”
  8. Idaho’s John Foster conceded election defeat in a tweet “Congratulations to Raul Labrador on a hard-earned win, and best of luck as Idaho’s next Congressman.”
  9. Spain’s defender Carles Puyol tweeted a twitpic of his view of World Cup win celebrations “Gran ambiente en la rua!!orgulloso de ver a tanta gente feliz.”
  10. Conan O’Brien used twitter to announce his tour, selling it out in hours “Hey Internet: I’m headed to your town on a half-assed comedy & music tour. Go to for tix. I repeat: It’s half-assed.”

Some of these list items are expected–BP’s tweet, and Ecuador’s emergency in particular, but some may wonder about Conan being on there. This is a feature of the list being hand-selected, and it does serve to show that Twitter covers a wealth of different uses from raw news to entertainment. 

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)