2010 has been anything but boring when it comes to the world of social media. I’m no Barbara Walters, but here are the Most Fascinating Social Media Events of 2010.

Even though it was almost a year ago, the images of Haiti’s destruction following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake are still haunting. The journalists who arrived first on the scene began relaying images of not only destruction, but also the great needs that Haiti needed to survive. Journalists like NBC’s Anne Curry sent out a Tweet saying, “@usairforce find a way to let Doctors without Borders planes land in Haiti: https://bit.ly/8hYZOKTHE most effective at this.” Thanks to her Tweet and communication with the Pentagon, the plane was able to land. Her Tweet was even named The Most Powerful Tweet of 2010 by Twitter.


The World Cup
If you’re like me and most other Americans, you jumped on the World Cup bandwagon this summer. Twitter was quickly filled with several “GOAAAAALLLLL” and Vuvuzela Tweets (the Vuvuzela even has its own Twitter account and an iPhone app).  Fans could also show support for their team by adding a country’s hashtag to the end of a Tweet and the country’s flag and a soccer ball graphic would appear – doesn’t get much better than that! 

New Twitter
Twitter decided to throw everyone for a loop this summer and change the profile design that they’ve had since 2006. While I’m a fan of the New Twitter’s design and accessibility features, I really wonder if the re-design was necessary. It caused customized backgrounds to be re-designed and required updates for third party applications like TweetAdder.

500 Million Users Can’t Be Wrong
In case you missed the news, Facebook hit 500 million users this year. I’m guessing they’ll hit 600 million users in the first quarter of 2011, but I’m curious to see when those numbers will start to level off. Mark Zuckerburg continues to rule the world of social media and finally opened up to news outlets about his success. He also proved that he wasn’t totally a self-centered nerd like The Social Network depicted him as when he donated 100 million dollars to Newark Public Schools and joining The Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage the wealthiest people in America to make a commitment to give most of their money to philanthropic causes.

The Social Network
If you missed Jesse Eisenburg’s depiction of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg in the blockbuster The Social Network, you need to make this movie your first rental or download of 2011 when it’s released January 11. Eisenberg did an amazing job portraying Zuckerburg as a brilliant yet slightly-manic teenager on the brink of greatness. The film was a great insight into Harvard and revealed details about how Facebook came to be the billion dollar website it is today. Justin Timberlake’s role as Napster founder Sean Parker wasn’t too shabby either.

Checking In
2010 was the year of location-based social media. Thanks to new services like FourSquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places, fans can now check into their favorite businesses, leave tips and suggestions and be rewarded for their loyalty. Critics say that location-based social media can lead to stalking and oversharing, but for businesses, this is just another fantastic way to connect with users.

Chipotle Cover Up
Let this be an example of why businesses should never censor their customers on social media. A Chipotle employee reported hitting a cat on her way home from work and somehow the conversation was brought to the attention of the Chipotle Facebook page. Instead of making a short and sweet comment, Chipotle’s Facebook page lied and said that the post was made by a hacker, deleted comments made by other fans and then made a status update addressing the issue, therefore publicizing the story to the 1.1 million fans. Let this story serve as a great example for Facebook administrators and their brands – social media isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. You’re bound to get a disgruntled fan every now and then, but by addressing the issue promptly and honestly, the comment will end up helping you in the long run.

What do you think the most fascinating social media moments of 2010 were?

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