To close out 2010, last week we ran a three-part series of simple lists -- the year's Top 10 Companies on Twitter, the Top 10 Non-Tech Companies on Twitter, and the Top 10 Movies and TV Shows on Twitter. All three installments were produced in collaboration with our editorial partner What the Trend, the trend-tracking company that monitors the rank and duration of every single topic that pops up on Twitter's global Trending Topics chart throughout the year.
Today I want to share a couple very telling pie charts produced by WTT that underscore a dramatic shift in the way that people used Twitter in 2010 vs. 2009. But first, some background: A few weeks back, responding to the ever-rising presence of so-called hashtag trends on Twitter (e.g., #WillGetYouSlapped, #IfSantaWasBlack, #iconfess, etc.), I wrote a column titled "Twitter Has Pretty Much Officially Become a Gaming Platform," in which I argued that Twitter was becoming a massive global playground for word-based games of wit. I noted that up-from-nowhere hashtag trends which inspire a global call-and-response are now, increasingly, crowding out real trends tied to breaking news.