Twitter in 2012: Top 140-character talkers

When President Barack Obama clinched the election, we heard from him by way of a TwitPic and a message well under 140 characters.

Four more years.

Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012

That singular tweet became the most retweeted tweet of all time, sent by more than 810,000 people in 200 countries.

It marked one of the milestones of the Twitterverse in 2012. The social media site released its year-end list of top tweets, trends and conversation topics this week.

The compilation shows not only what captured people's attention, but which person did. The second most popular tweet was sent by none other than Justin Bieber (not surprising as he does boast more than 31 million followers).

When a 6-year-old die-hard Bieber fan died of a rare form of brain cancer, Bieber wrote a simple, yet poignant tweet:

RIP Avalanna. i love you

Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 26, 2012

In 140 characters, we also learned and discussed pop icon Whitney Houston's death in February at an impressive rate (73,662 tweets per minute), gave commentary on the presidential debates at record numbers (327,452 tweets per minute) and offered well-wishes to Hurricane Sandy victims (20 million tweets).

The most discussed topic of the year went to the Summer Olympic Games in London. The 16-day event amassed 150 million tweets, with the hot topics being the closing ceremonies and Jamaica's Usain Bolt's gold medal in the 200-meter sprint.

What did you talk about? How were you influential? The 2012 Year on Twitter also allows you to learn your "golden tweet" and "golden follower." On the year-end Twitter page, click on 'You Year on Twitter' at the bottom of the list.