Social Media in 2017 – A Year in Review

With 2018 well and truly underway, there’s just enough time to take one last look back at the top moments across social media from last year.

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At the end of last year, your inbox was probably full of posts highlighting the top trends and predictions for 2018. While it’s really important to think of the future and keep an eye on the key trends that are expected to shine through in the year ahead, it is just as important to reflect upon the previous 12 months and what they have taught us.

In December of last year, multiple social media platforms released their Year in Review, where they take a look back at the key moments on the platform throughout 2017. Below are some of the highlights from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during 2017.

Facebook highlights 2017

2017 was a tough year with various natural disasters and violence around the world, however, Facebook provided a platform where people could help each other when they needed it most. Facebook’s 2017 review highlights the top moments when people used the platform to offer aid and help each other in the hardest times during 2017.

  • During the earthquake that hit Mexico in late September, Facebook provided a place for people to offer help to their community, donate to the cause, or declare themselves safe. The disaster received the highest number of total interactions within Crisis Response on Facebook in 2017.
  • Hurricane Harvey provides another example of how the Facebook community rallied together to help those in need by raising over $20 million – making it the biggest fundraising effort for a single crisis on Facebook last year.
  • The One Love Manchester benefit concert was the most viewed video and live broadcast on Facebook in 2017 with over 80 million views, raising more than $450,000 for those affected.

Facebook’s Year in Review also highlights the most talked about moments throughout the year, International Women’s Day, and the biggest offline event that helped Facebook users get together away from their computer screen, the Solar Eclipse.

When analysing the previous year, Facebook takes the time to remove key dates, such as Halloween, as these are likely to appear in the list every year. Instead, Facebook looks for the keywords that are specific to that year by comparing them to the previous year’s top keywords to highlight the unique topics.

Twitter highlights 2017

Last year was another busy year for Twitter with some big changes coming to the platform – most notably the doubling of the tweet character limit. These are some of the top tweets, hashtags, and other stories shared by the platform’s 330 million users last year.

The year started with a bang for Twitter with the most retweeted tweet of the year coming in just the first few months when Carter Wilkinson went on the search for some free chicken nuggets.

In the end, the tweet went on to become the most retweeted of all time, overtaking Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie.

2017 was an interesting year for American politics, however, it was former President Barack Obama who stole the social media show with the most liked tweet of the year – and three of the top ten most retweeted tweets of the year. However, it wasn’t all bad for new President Donald Trump, as he was the most tweeted about elected world leader.

When looking at the most popular Twitter Moments of the past 12 months, NASA’s discovery of seven new Earth-like planets and Beyonce’s announcement of her latest pregnancy lead the way.

Twitter’s 2017 Year in Review also takes a look at the most talked about TV shows, movies, sports hashtags, and music hashtags. Unsurprisingly, Game of Thrones came on top of the list of most talked about TV shows in the US, while Wonder Woman was the most tweeted about movie from 2017. However, one thing I did find surprising is how many soccer football related hashtags appear in the top 10 sporting hashtags.


When looking at the most tweeted musical hashtags, I can’t really add too much as I only know two out of the top 10, but well done to #kokobop – you win!


Instagram highlights 2017

Instagram’s Year in Review takes a look at some of the most important trends, milestones, and events from 2017. When looking at the most liked photos and videos from 2017, it’s clear to see there are a few faces dominating both lists – unfortunately, my top post just misses out of the top 10 sitting in number 11.

Some of the most useful statistics from Instagram’s Year in Review are the most popular hashtags and the hashtags that gained the most popularity throughout the year. These give you an indication of the type of content people are interested in and looking for, unsurprisingly photography themed hashtags take up most of the top 10 spots.

Time to look forward

Most of the stats in these 2017 reviews don’t provide a lot of actionable information to help improve your social media marketing. However, it is always interesting to take a look back and reflect on the social media activity from the past year, highlight the key trends that developed, and see what content gained the most traction.

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