Twitter’s 2021 top hashtags in Australia

In 2021 Twitter saw hashtags COVID-19, Tokyo2020, March4Justice and SquidGame (a Netflix series)  gain significant momentum on the platform.

Despite #COVID still prevalent in people’s everyday lives, for the first time in two years it has been knocked from the top spot, with #auspol back at the pole position for top hashtags of 2021 for Australia.

There were more than 3.6 million meme-related Tweets in Australia this year, with many using them to find humour in trying times. August, the month which saw two major cities in Australia back in lockdown, was also the most meme’d month. Twitter’s favourite meme is the classic “When you…” format. This could explain why the laughing emoji is Twitter’s most used emoticon.

Three of Twitter’s top ten most tweeted hashtags are sport related, with #Tokyo2020 being the most popular. Australians were glued to their TV for every serve, goal, and medal, while using their phones as a second screen to connect to other sport fans via Twitter.

Flag bearer @Patty_Mills was one of Twitter’s top ten most mentioned athletes along with fellow competitors @AshBarty, @SamKerr1, @NickKyrios, and Boomers teammate, @JoeIngles7.

As the State of Origin was played in North Queensland for the first time, #NRL climb the ladder as the second most Tweeted hashtag within the sport category, ranking higher than #AFL.

During lockdowns this year, Australians turned to Twitter to find the latest developments about COVID-19, and to show support for those around them. People also took the opportunity to share their personal experiences in lockdown, including how they continued to juggle homeschooling and working from home. Twitter is also being used as a real-time mental health and wellbeing helpline.

People all over Australia Tweeted about #lockdown6 as Victorians took out the world record for the longest number of days in lockdown. #Melbourne was one of Twitter’s trending hashtags as the rest of the country Tweeted their support.

When Korean phenomenon Squid Game first aired, the hashtag #SquidGame was used at least 39,000 times in Australia. When it came to what we watched all year long, some of Australia’s favourites was #MAFS, #MasterChefAU, #SurvivorAU, and #TheBlock were in Twitter’s top ten most Tweeted about entertainment hashtags.

Like much of the world, Australia continues to be captivated by K-pop sensation @BTS_twt who is the platform’s most Tweeted about celebrity group, followed by @BLACKPINK. #BTS also made it in Twitter’s top hashtags for the year, taking out the third spot.

Culturally, Twitter has seen the rise of K-pop across the world, but this trend is not new on Twitter. Other music sensations such as @TaylorSwift13 and @LilNasX also made an appearance in the top ten most mentioned people.

Australian of the year @TamePunk (AKA Grace Tame) was most mentioned, followed by @GretaTunberg. With Greta’s climate change activism, and @DanIlic’s recent proactive efforts, Twitter saw #COP26 rise to one of the most Tweeted about hashtags for the year.

Another key conversation on the platform was around NAIDOC Week 2021. This year there were over 23,500 Tweets celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with #NAIDOC2021 being the top hashtag used in the conversation.

Meanwhile, one of those bright spots was @JoshJoshBegosh, a young man from Perth who started a Twitter account to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy. Within two weeks he gained more than 10,000 followers, who he has been meeting offline and sharing his story with.


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