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World Cup and 1D dominate Twitter

One Direction and the World Cup dominated Twitter in the UK in what was overall "the year of the selfie", statistics show.

Tweeters' love of camera phone self-portraits showed no sign of abating, with the term "selfie" mentioned 92 million times by the social network's 284 million active global users, an increase of 500% on 2013, Twitter said.

A seemingly innocuous celebration of 1D's four years together by singer Harry Styles was the most retweeted tweet by a UK account in 2014, while the band between them have five of the most followed British accounts.

And despite England's dismal performances and early flight home, the Brazil World Cup broke records to become the most tweeted about subject globally, and its matches were six of the top 10 most mentioned events in the UK.

Lewis Wiltshire, director of media partnerships at Twitter UK, said the year had started with Ellen DeGeneres taking a widely shared selfie on stage at the Oscars, which was followed by Prince William and Prince Harry posing at an event at Buckingham Palace.

He added: "It shows no sign of easing off, the selfie craze continues and of course after Ellen DeGeneres's selfie we also saw the World Cup selfies where Lukas Podolski, Bastian Schweinsteiger and other German players... were taking selfies on the pitch and posting them to Twitter immediately after the final whistle."

Germany's 7-1 demolition of Brazil in the World Cup semi-final on July 8 was the single most tweeted about event by UK users, Twitter said.

It was followed by Wayne Rooney's equaliser for England in the 1-1 draw against Luis Suarez's Uruguay, Daniel Sturridge's equaliser in the eventual defeat against Italy, new year celebrations and Germany's defeat of Argentina to win the World Cup.

Other World Cup events in the top 10 were Croatia scoring against Brazil and the Netherlands' 5-1 whipping of holders Spain.

Mr Wiltshire added: "There were over 670 million tweets about the World Cup this year overall. In fact we saw more tweets about the World Cup this year before it had even started than we did about the 2010 World Cup in its entirety."

The top 10 most tweeted about subject list was rounded out by more football - Manchester United and Real Madrid, new year celebrations and, of course, One Direction for their February best British video Brit Award win, which was voted for by Twitter users.

The band dominate the list of the UK's most followed accounts, with Styles's @Harry_Styles account top with 22.8 million followers. He is followed by @OneDirection in second (21.5 million), Liam Payne's @Real_Liam_Payne (18.6 million) is in fourth, Louis Tomlinson's @Louis_Tomlinson (18 million) is at five and Zayne Malik's @ZayneMalik (13.5 million) is at seven.

Niall Horan's 20.5 million follows @NiallOfficial would have put him fourth but for the fact that he is Irish and is not counted in the UK.

The top 10 is filled out by Adele's @OfficialAdele (21.3 million) at three, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson's @EmWatson (15.4 million) at six, Coldplay's @Coldplay (13.5 million) at eight, BBC News' @BBCBreaking (12.4 million) at nine and singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran's @EdSheeran (11.2 million) at 10.

However, none of them come close to the global top 10 most-followed accounts, led by pop star Katy Perry (61 million), Justin Bieber (57 million), Barack Obama (51 million) and Taylor Swift (48 million).

Styles did manage to send the most shared message. More than 359,000 people retweeted his soppy salute to fans on July 23, which read: "4 years. Thank you to everyone who is involved in this. I feel so lucky to be part of it. Everyone who has worked with us thank you.."

In terms of news events, the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was the most talked about by UK users, followed by the Scottish independence vote, the inquest of Mark Duggan, who was shot by police, and the deaths of comics Robin Williams and Joan Rivers.


From Belfast Telegraph