— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 30, 2016
After more than a year of writing about Twitter, we’ve learned why the social media icon is never in a hurry to publicize its most popular retweets – they might be what readers want to see in theory, but often turn out to be little more than paeans to the egos of social media savvy stars like Drake and Justin Bieber.
Far better at highlighting the downs and ups of 2016 is Twitter’s list of Canada’s most used hashtags over the past year, covering not only a bitter U.S. election (and its inevitable breaking up of best political bros Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama), but the Rio Olympics and the Toronto Raptors’ stellar year. Read on.
— Bell Let's Talk (@Bell_LetsTalk) October 21, 2016
Countless businesses dream of creating viral hashtags of their own, but few can match Bell Canada’s success with #BellLetsTalk, the annual initiative that saw the Montreal-based telecommunications giant donate five cents to mental health initiatives every time it was used on Jan. 27 – an amount which this year added up to $6.2 million after it was called, texted, tweeted, and shared 125,915,295 times.
Bell’s efforts have also attracted their share of criticism, of course, but we’re heartened to see that – based on this hashtag’s Twitter page, at least – they’ve tried to keep the conversation going throughout the year.
We just hope they’re treating their own employees well too.
— Tourism Toronto (@SeeTorontoNow) December 9, 2016
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) December 8, 2016
Considering the Greater Toronto Area is Canada’s most populous region, with more than 5.5 million people and counting, we’re hardly surprised to see its unofficial hashtag on this list – but we are surprised it was used more often than the country’s own unofficial hashtag.
Isn’t the rest of Canada supposed to hate Toronto?
— NHL (@NHL) October 23, 2014
This popular hashtag (short for “Throwback Thursday”) is used across the world.
— Rugby Canada (@RugbyCanada) August 9, 2016
It was among the year’s biggest newsmakers, so it’s hardly surprising that the Rio Olympics, where Canada ultimately netted 22 medals, would trend on Twitter too.
— Pokémon GO News (@PokemonGoNews) December 8, 2016
At this point, we’re as sick of writing about Pokémon Go, which recently made good on its promise/threat to begin opening sponsored PokéStops by signing a deal with Starbucks, as you probably are of reading about it. But there’s no denying that developer Niantic’s mobile phenomenon, which had 45 million players globally at its peak (Canadian numbers are surprisingly difficult to come by) was a leading conversation starter in 2016.
— Canna Relief 420 (@cannarelief420) November 27, 2016
We’re guessing #MentalHealth’s inclusion on this list is directly related to #BellLetsTalk, but whatever the reason, as former CAMH volunteers, we’re grateful.
— Meanwhile in Canada (@MeanwhileinCana) November 8, 2016
As you’ve probably gathered if you read any of our coverage, most of us at ITBusiness.ca would like to forget about this year’s U.S. election as soon as possible, though we doubt the reality-star president chosen by our neighbour’s electoral college system is going to let us.
— Raptors Nation™ (@WeTheNorth__) December 9, 2016
Another successful company hashtag. Twitter’s Canadian users love their Raptors.
— ✖Guy On The Couch✖ (@6SportsGod1) November 26, 2016