If you had any doubt that Twitter mirrors the pulse of world opinion, check out the microblogging service's roundup of the year in tweets and you'll see the major events of 2012 reflected in the voices of the people of the world.
The 2012 Year on Twitter report digs through all the micro posts and pulls out the most retweeted items, most used hashtags and most discussed topics this year —from politics to natural disasters to sports.
Showing that politics makes engaging theater, the honor of the "most retweeted" tweet goes to President Barack Obama. He posted a picture of himself and the first lady hugging with the text "Four More Years." The post has been retweeted 816,000 times and counting. Justin Bieber placed second with a tweet remembering six-year-old cancer victim Avalanna Routh, who passed away in September.
The Summer Olympics spawned 150 million tweets, although the most talked-about moment had nothing to do with athletics — unless you count Sporty Spice. The Spice Girls reunion during the Summer Olympics' closing ceremony created more than 116,000 tweets per minute. The U.S. presidential debates, MTV Music Awards and the Super Bowl all saw more than 10 million tweets each.
People used Twitter to show the world the impact of Superstorm Sandy, from a picture of a roller-coaster engulfed by the ocean to an out-of-this-world shot of the storm from the International Space Station. During the week of the storm, people sent more than 20 million Sandy-related tweets. [See also: Sandy Floods Captured in Social Media.]
In terms of tech, "AT&T" topped the category, but data doesn't indicate if the conversations were positive or negative. Apple dominated, too, garnering three spots in the top 10 tech trends: iPhone, iPad and Apple.