The 2015 #YearOnTwitter in India

Monday, 7 December 2015

As always, the world united this year in moments of triumph, activism, support, and fascination — and Twitter is where we gathered for all of it. Whether people were making a hashtag into a global movement or expressing wonder over a photo of a dress, we all used Twitter this year in awe-inspiring ways.

Today, thanks to our content partners at @GettyImages, we’ve unveiled the #YearOnTwitter at It’s a place to look back at the most Retweeted Tweets, the most popular trends (and emojis!), and how 2015 unfolded across the world on Twitter.

The 2015 #YearOnTwitter: The Global Rise of India
In 2015, Twitter was the place that Indians gathered to be part of local and global conversations and events. It was a year of triumphs and tragedies, of celebrations and crises, and Twitter provided the pulse of the country. From the Golden Tweet (between two global icons) to Most Influential Moments (global interest for Delhi Elections and Diwali) to Most Popular Hashtag Trend (worldwide conversations about IPL) to the first non-US brand to get a Twitter emoji (@MakeInIndia), this was the Year On Twitter to show the global rise of India.

The Golden Tweet

While each Tweet is unique, only one can be named the 2015 “Golden Tweet”: The most Retweeted Tweet of the year. The Golden Tweet for India in 2015 is from Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk), who Tweeted a selfie with British boy band One Direction’s former member, Zayn Malik (@zaynmalik), at the Asian Awards in London in April 2015. It took Twitter by storm garnering over 140,000 Retweets and viewed nearly 18.3 million times globally on Twitter as fans of both artists were thrilled to see the two together in this rare selfie moment.

Most Influential Moments

Twitter showed the live pulse of the nation in 2015 as Indians were quick to take to the platform to see and discuss the news, politics, sports, political and cultural moments. While individual Tweets soared to be among the most Retweeted, there were several influential and memorable moments that resonated with Indians the most:

The 2015 #YearOnTwitter in India

  1. #INDvsPAK (First match of #CWC15 on 15 February)
    India beating Pakistan in the first match of the Cricket World Cup in 2015 was the most viewed TV and sports event of the year and drew a record-breaking 118.3 million impressions on Twitter, including the magical #OnlyOnTwitter moment when Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) Tweeted after the win.
  2. #DelhiElections (Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections on 10 February)
    Twitter played a powerful role during the Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections held in February 2015 where hashtags #DelhiElections and #DelhiVotes became points of convergence of all elections conversations. Twitter provided the perfect window to this exciting political moment that saw Aam Aadmi Party (@AAP) winning the majority of votes. There were over 10.8 million elections-related Tweets during the 30-day campaign period.
  3. #HappyDiwali (India and the world celebrated Diwali on Twitter from 8-13 November)
    Through multiple activations including the first-ever Diwali emoji, Twitter provided a way for users to be delighted using the platform. Along with the emoji, Twitter asked audiences to Tweet photos of their favourite Diwali moments using the hashtag #HappyDiwali, and then shared a collage of #HappyDiwali Tweets in the form of a lamp on
  4. #ChennaiRains (Users unite to help during the crisis, 1-4 December)
    Twitter was used as a platform to provide reports, disseminate critical information and coordinate local relief efforts during the record-breaking Chennai floods. Local citizens sent over 1.4 million Tweets using #ChennaiRains, #ChennaiFloods and #ChennaiRainsHelp hashtags to crowdsource assistance and help each other through this natural disaster.
  5. Independence Day (India’s 69th Independence Day, 15 August)
    The 69th year of Independence for India was marked on Twitter with three key moments. India got its first Independence Day flag emoji with #India, The Taj Mahal joined Twitter as one of the first historic Indian monuments to join Twitter, and there was an inspirational #SaluteSelfie campaign that recorded over 100,000 Tweets to show gratitude for the Armed Forces.

Popular Hashtag Trends

Popular Twitter hashtag trends in India saw a mixture of sports, entertainment, political, and social activism movements. Here are several top hashtag conversations this year:

The 2015 #YearOnTwitter in India

  1. #IPL: The biggest T20 cricket league in the world made a full season return to India after being partially played in the Middle East last year and saw cricket fans enthusiastically engaging in public conversation about the league with over 9 million #IPL Tweets this season.
  2. #BiharResults: One of the largest states of India went to the polls this October-November, and Twitter provided front-row access to the unfolding conversations. #BiharElections got the chatter going about breaking news, candidates sparring over agendas, and wooing the public. #BiharResults trended on polling day with over 260,000 Tweets.
  3. #SelfieWithDaughter: This Modi-led campaign started in the state of Haryana in July 2015 to promote the rights of the girl child and started trending within hours as dads clicked selfies with their daughters to participate in the initiative with over 375,000 #SelfieWithDaughter Tweets.
  4. #DDLJ20Years: This October, iconic Bollywood love story Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge turned 20 and it celebrated its birthday on Twitter with fans and celebrities reminiscing about their favourite DDLJ dialogues, scenes, songs, and photos. Twitter presented a wonderful reflection to all the excitement with over 140,000 #DDLJ20Years Tweets.
  5. #SaalEkShuruaatAnek: Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi’s first year as PM unfolded as one of the key Twitter India moments of 2015. His year on Twitter saw unique engagements with citizens and global leaders, and he has used the platform to enforce e-governance and digital diplomacy. On his first year anniversary in office, there were over 179,000 #SaalEkShuruaatAnek Tweets.

Firsts on Twitter

The year 2015 was also a year of many firsts on Twitter from users, partners and brands experimenting and innovating with the platform and new campaigns. Here are the highlights to show how Twitter, Vine, and Periscope were used in new ways this year.

The 2015 #YearOnTwitter in India

  1. Make In India: First non-US brand to create its own Twitter emoji 
    In November, @MakeInIndia, one of the largest economic development initiatives run by the Indian government, became the first non-US brand to create its own Twitter emoji for a worldwide audience.  

    The 2015 #YearOnTwitter in India
  2. First Twitter cricket timelines for #CWC15 and #IPL
    Given the millions of cricket fans who are on Twitter, this year we created a product that would let users follow and participate in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and IPL 2015 with ease. We created special cricket timelines for #CWC15 and #IPL2015 as a one-stop for cricket Tweets, commentary, expert analysis, plus photos, videos, and Vines from the sidelines at the world’s biggest cricketing events.

  3. First Indian airline and telco to launch Tweet-powered customer service: Jet Airways and Reliance Communications
    #JetInstant is a first of its kind Twitter based innovation that lets you check the lowest fare or view your flight status with just a single Tweet, and #SmartCare is a Twitter-based customer service that allows 120 million Reliance users to access and manage their mobile phone account on Twitter using the #SmartCare hashtag: pay bills, recharge online, view and buy best deals, track usage, and check balance.

  4. BMW: the first brand to use Twitter’s Flock to Unlock Card in India
    BMW India (@bmwindia) was the first brand to use the Flock to Unlock Card for the launch video of the i8 in India. Flock to Unlock is a custom Twitter Card that brands can use to unveil a new product, video or a commercial. It needs people to flock to the content for it to unlock. Once the card is unlocked, a Tweet is sent to everyone who participated with the exclusive content.

  5. JLR Discovery Sport: First Automobile Launch on Periscope
    This year, we conceptualise and executed the first-ever automobile launch experience on Periscope for the launch of the New Discovery Sport by Jaguar Land Rover. The launch experience was brought to Land Rover’s fans (@JLRIndia) in real time using Periscope, allowing followers to interact with the live broadcast as it happened.

Most-Followed Accounts

India’s list of most-followed Indian accounts in 2015 is dominated by Bollywood stars and the Prime Minister. This year PM Modi (@narendramodi) takes the third spot having quadrupled his number of followers from 4 million when he took office last May to over 16 million now, making him the biggest gainer on the top 10 list in 2015.

The 2015 #YearOnTwitter in India

New Voices on Twitter

Here are some of the new voices on Twitter this year, ranging from cultural icons, sports, entertainment, government and NGOs. They all provide interesting content, share their viewpoints, and connect with millions of other like-minded people through live, public conversations - ultimately making Twitter a richer, better place for all Indians.

The 2015 #YearOnTwitter in India

  1. The Taj Mahal (@TajMahal): India celebrated its 69th Independence Day on 15 August by welcoming the majestic Taj Mahal to Twitter, and users got a chance to walk down memory lane by reminiscing their first time at The Taj Mahal through the #MyTajMemory campaign (
  2. Kapil Dev (@therealkapildev): The captain of India’s first Cricket World Cup winning team in 1983 and one of the biggest legends of cricket joined Twitter on 25 April, using Twitter video and text to engage with fans. He also Tweeted on the 32nd anniversary of India’s World Cup win on 25 June.
  3. Suriya (@Suriya_offl): Indian film actor, producer, TV presenter, and philanthropist from the Tamil film industry joined Twitter on 8 March. He has won critical acclaim for films Nanda and Singam, and was listed #33 on Forbes India’s “2013 Celebrity 100 List.”
  4. BS Bassi (@BhimBassi): The Delhi Police Commissioner joined Twitter on 1 December as a way to empower citizens with updates on policing activities, latest safety measures and tips, and to provide a platform for citizens to reach out to the police with ease.
  5. Safecity India (@Safecityindia): Not-for-profit organisation Safecity India has integrated with Twitter to empower women to share their experiences about public harassment by Tweeting to @Safecityindia. Launched on October 27th, @Safecityindia collects the Tweets and provides them to local authorities to provide solutions to make cities safer for women.

Thank you for making Twitter great this year.