The Week in Twitter: Tom Cruise, Anderson Cooper and the Higgs 'Bosson'

HootSuite's Twitter Week in Review, June 30-July 6

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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 3 million users. (Last week's chart is right over here.) We're back today with Volume 15. Scroll down below the infographic for some context -- and watch for a fresh edition of our Twitter Week in Review each Friday.

  • It was a big week for CNN's Anderson Cooper, who, after years of widespread speculation about his sexuality, confirmed he was gay in an email to the Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan Monday. The news trended almost immediately, meeting the typical "Why is this news?" and various forms of "Well, duh" that often follow a high-profile coming-out in the Twitterverse, but generating plenty of supportive tweets as well. Celebrities also joined the conversation, of course, many of whom commended Cooper for his articulate explanation of his choice not to discuss his sexuality publicly until now. (In his email to Sullivan, Cooper said he stayed mum on all stories related to himself and stuck to covering real news -- until remaining mum felt too much like hiding, that is .)
  • The end of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' six-year marriage was announced last Friday afternoon, causing the former to trend immediately. Twitterers went into a tizzy as they tried to be the first with a retweetable crack about the movie-star's sexuality and speculated about the role of Scientology in the split. Cruise earned even more buzz this week when Forbes called him the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning a staggering $75 million this past year.
  • European physicists announced Wednesday that they'd discovered a sub-atomic particle believed to be the Higgs boson -- a discovery that could improve our understanding of the universe. Though Twitter is much more likely to respond to pop stars and celebrity gossip (see above) than scientists, splashy headlines in the media -- "Physicists Find Elusive Particle Seen as Key to Universe" was typical of the form -- helped pique broad interest. So why did only the "Higgs" half of "Higgs boson" register as a top trend? One theory that is supported by a quick Twitter search: many users misspelled "boson" as "bosson."
  • While not a misspelling, one standout on the memes list this past week was "#MyFavouriteBand" -- pretty standard as far as Twitter memes go, but one where obviously the Brits had the upper hand.
  • For explanations of trends and memes not covered above, visit HootSuite's What the Trend.

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.

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