The Week in Twitter: Microsoft Surface Goes Big, But Why is Kurt Cobain Trending?

HootSuite's Twitter Week in Review, June 16-22

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Our Twitter Week in Review chart uses data collected and parsed for Ad Age by the What the Trend (WTT) unit of HootSuite, the social-media management dashboard with more than three million users. (Last week's chart is right over here.) We're back today with Volume 13. Scroll down below the infographic for some context -- and watch for a fresh edition of our Twitter Week in Review each Friday.

  • Microsoft has had a week full of social buzz after it unveiled its new tablet device and mobile operating system June 18. The company's CEO, Steve Ballmer, introduced Surface during a distinctly Apple-like presentation on Monday in Los Angeles, sparking a week of talk (and typing) that put both "Surface" and "Windows Phone 8" on the list of top trending topics this week. On the rare occasion that consumer brands trend, they are usually gadget-related, but for two of Microsoft's brands to trend in the same week is a definite social success story. Whether this new mobile technology will help Microsoft steal some market share from Apple and Google remains a much more critical question.
  • The one (direct) pop-music reference on the chart this week landed in the form of "Wide Awake," the new single by Katy Perry, which had its video premiere Tuesday. The song is a career benchmark for the saccharine pop star, whose 2010 album "Teenage Dream" spawned five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, tying Michael Jackson for most chart toppers on a single album. She re-released the album earlier this year, with a new single "Part of Me" -- which also went to No. 1 -- and "Wide Awake," a more adult-pop ode to her ex-husband, comedian Russell Brand. The fantasy-themed video is a deliberately punctuated end to Ms. Perry's wildly successful two years, and the song is on track to take the top spot any week now.
  • Though we usually make a concerted effort to steer clear of the more obvious Justin Bieber references, the chart's ever-evolving collision with the teen star came this week in the form of multiple, seemingly unrelated trends, and even involved an icon of a completely different musical generation. "Kurt Cobain" trended this week thanks to an incendiary comment by a vocal "Belieber" who calls herself "Amanda Bieber" -- which was also a trend, and whose account may or may not be a parody. The person behind the explosive Twitter account -- who has since expressed her wish that her parents die in a fire, and talked about how much she hates Christians and gay people -- tweeted that Bieber is "better" than Cobain, and also compared him favorably to Michael Jackson and John Lennon. (After all, she pointed out, those stars don't have days named after them -- a reference to another trend, "Justin Bieber Day," which was declared by Manhattan Borough President and mayoral hopeful Scott Stringer during Bieber's recent stop in New York.) Naturally, a worldwide social firestorm ensued. This proves one point unequivocally: No matter how far removed from Bieber a trend may seem, it can always find its way right back to him.
  • For explanations of trends and memes not covered above, visit HootSuite's What the Trend.
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