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Gulf Oil Spill Tops 2010 Twitter Trends

World Cup-related subjects took three of the 10 spots on the list of the most common tweets of the year.

Top 5 Twitter Clients Revealed
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Slideshow: Top 5 Twitter Clients Revealed
From serious life-changing events such as the Gulf oil spill and the earthquake in Haiti, to entertainment icons like Justin Bieber and Harry Potter, Twitter has become an indicator of what's hot in today's world.

In 2010, people sent 25 billion tweets, according to Twitter. The company analyzed the tweets to identify the top 10 overall trends, as well as the leading trends in news events, people, movies, television, technology, sports, and hashtags.

"Each trend in the Top 10 list includes multiple related terms, to give the most accurate view of the topics that people cared about most in 2010," wrote Jodi Olson, of the corporate communications department at Twitter, in a company blog. "These trends indicate the things that are most meaningful in our lives. Each day on Twitter, people tweet about news, sports, entertainment, and cool new technology -- and everything else in between. The list of 2010 Twitter Trends reflects what's happening in our world, demonstrates the power of turning any event or story into a shared experience, and underscores Twitter's value as a real-time information network."

About one in 10 online Americans use Twitter, but only about half tweet daily.

In order, the top 10 Twitter trends of 2010 were:

1. Gulf oil spill
2. FIFA World Cup
3. Inception
4. Haiti earthquake
5. Vuvuzela, the noise-making instruments that became the symbolic backdrop to this year's World Cup
6. Apple iPad
7. Google Android
8. Justin Bieber
9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
10. Pulpo Paul, the octopus that successfully picked the winning team in each game of the World Cup finals

Within the other categories, the Gulf oil spill was determined to be the top news story, followed by the Haitian earthquake, and the floods in Pakistan. In the people category, tween heartthrob Bieber took top honors, while Dilma Rouseff and Lady Gaga came in second and third, respectively. Inception led in movies mentions, seconded by the latest Harry Potter, and followed by Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

When it came to television, the MTV Music Video Awards were number one, Pretty Little Liars was second-most tweeted, and True Blood came in third. In the technology category, Apple iPad took top-tweeted honors, followed by Google Android, and Apple iOS.

Pity the World Cup players who battled for the championship: None of them made the top three in World Cup-related tweets. Rather, FIFA World Cup, vuvuzela, and Pulpo Paul took the top three tweet honors.

Looking at tweets about all sports, basketball player Lebron James -- and his much-ballyhooed decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers -- made him the subject of the most tweets this year, followed by Wimbledon, and English soccer team Manchester United.

Lastly, in a uniquely Twitter ranking, the top three hashtags were #rememberwhen, #slapyourself, and #confessiontime.

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