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London Olympics, US Election and natural disasters: Twitter captures 2012’s biggest moments

Gone are the days of waiting for a major event to be screened on the six o'clock news, instead you can keep posted to your Twitter page to be updated with fresh content that arrives in real time.

The relevancy of the platform has become more evident this year, with Twitter generating more talk than ever about events and other things happening around the world.

Twitter was used far and wide, from the bottom of the ocean with film director James Cameron to Tweets sent from Mars in the Curiosity rover's expedition of the planet.

These Tweets helped everyday people to experience these historic and special moments at a more intimate level, so we shared the moments with those who posted them.

A blog posted on Twitter by editorial director Karen Wickre looked at the year in review, highlighting five key areas: Golden Tweets, Pulse of the Planet, Only on Twitter, Trends and New Voices.

Top Tweets of 2012

Obama's Tweet following his election victory, "Four more years", became the most retweeted ever, sent by people in more than 200 countries around the globe and receiving over 800,000 retweets.

Pop star Justin Bieber's Tweet paying tribute to six-year-old fan Avalanna Routh when she passed away in September, was the second top tweet of the year, with almost a quarter of a million retweets. 

Special Twitter moments

Exclusive and special moments were shared on Twitter this year, with the team at NASA live-tweeting as the Curiosity rover made its descent onto Mars.

Astronaut Sunita Williams also shared an astounding image from space, which captured images of Hurricane Sandy as it made its way through the east coast of the U.S.

Biggest conversations of the year

The London Olympic Games were a huge hit on Twitter, generating 150 million Tweets, with the closing ceremony amassing the largest "Games-related spike" at 116,000+ Tweets per minute!

Other discussed topics of the year include the U.S. election, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Super Bowl, Euro 2012 and Superstorm Sandy.

What trended?

Hashtags are a function that have become all too familiar with social media users, with this year's top conversation hashtag top five #nowplaying, #oomf, #blessed, #quote and #lrt.

Family Guy, NFL, Rick Ross, Think Like a Man and Syria were some other high-rating topics of conversation on Twitter.

Notable new Tweeters

A number of celebrities and public figures joined the Twitter realm this year including Patrick Stewart, Steve Carell, Betty White, Ewan McGregor and Jessica Biel.

Musicians Gwen Stefani, Neil Young, Adele and man of the moment PSY also got busy Tweeting in 2012.

Posted by April Revake.