Back in 2009, I reported on the genesis of a site called What the Trend, which serves as a sort of crowdsourced trend-definition service for the Twittersphere. It launched that February when a young British technologist, Matt Mayer, working in Shanghai at a web/iPhone development studio, decided to do something about his increasing bafflement regarding Twitter's Trending Topics list. Mayer launched WTT as a side project and soon sold it to a group in California. I struck up an informal editorial parternship with WTT's new owners; together we produced a longish-running weekly round up of Twitter trends that appeared each Friday here on AdAge.com. But when WTT changed its business strategy and focus last spring, the production of the chart went on indefinite hiatus.
Today, I'm happy to announce the return of the weekly trends chart, thanks to a new partnership with HootSuite, What the Trend's new owner (as of last September). HootSuite is the popular social-media management dashboard service, with more than three million users (which yesterday scored a $20 million investment from OMERS Ventures) and they've assembled a great team to build out WTT.
Scroll down below the infographic for some context and be sure to watch for a fresh edition of our Twitter Week in Review each Friday.
- Sometimes Twitter just seems like one big celebrity greeting card, doesn't it? "Happy Birthday Lady Gaga" (aka Stefani Germanotta, who was born on March 28, 1986) takes our No. 1 spot, perhaps partly as a result of posting a photo of herself without makeup to Twitter. And "Happy Anniversary Mariah" takes No. 9 not because Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have celebrated their anniversary, but because they're planning to. How's that for rolling out a product launch? (Maybe a "leaked" guest list can hit our chart next week.) In case you care -- and you really, really care, right? -- here's the San Francisco Chronicle's brief summation: "Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon making big plans for fifth wedding anniversary."
- Pop-culture figures dominate the rest of our Top 10, with "Rihanna & Ashton Kutcher" in second place. The singer was spotted leaving the home of the "Dude, Where's My Car?" star -- that 's how I like to think of him, still -- this week. Hopefully, roughly nine months from now we can look forward to another trending topic from those two. And "Beliebers love Jelena" takes No. 3. Sorry, Jelena Jankovic, Serbian tennis star. This Jelena is (gah!) a cute abbreviation for celebrity couple Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Meanwhile, two Brazilian cultural figures -- Francisco "Chico" Anysio, an actor and comedian, who just died at the age of 80, and artist Millor Fernandes, who died at the age of 88 -- also make our Top 10.
- For trend definitions in our Top 10 not covered above, visit What the Trend.
- In this reincarnation of our weekly charticle, we've added a couple new elements: Top 5 Memes -- those Twittersphere amusements like #middleschoolmemories (No. 1 this week) that come out of nowhere and frequently pepper Twitter's Trending Topics chart -- and Top 5 Brands. For the record, we're taking a rather broad view of what constitutes a brand -- because on Twitter people tend to talk more about branded products that actual corporate-level brands (e.g., iPad more than Apple). Angry Birds Space, the latest installment in the Angry Birds gaming series, takes our No. 1 spot while one-half of Jelena takes the No. 3 spot thanks to the release of his new single "Boyfriend." As with our Top 10 list, you can find more details about our Top 5 Memes and Top 5 Brands at What the Trend.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.
Help HootSuite's What the Trend define trends by following WTT: Define Now (@whatthetrend). And stay up to date on the latest HootSuite product-update details and company news by following @hootsuite.