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Twitter and the platform’s goings-on have become hugely influential in the world today. World leaders, celebrities, and your average joe rub shoulders, share videos, and shout at each other over anything and everything.
Amongst the billions of tweets, what manages to grab our attention the most people?
Below is a list of the 20 most-retweeted tweets which tells us what tweeters love to share – the list even highlights some huge historical moments.
Note: This list only includes tweets that are still live.
A big political moment, our first tweet is from President Obama with a send off as he left office. Leaving on the same message he came in on – hope – the tweet quickly racked up the RTs.
Barack is straight back in, this time with a tweet from his personal account (which is also the most followed on Twitter).
A simple post, it went out the day after Obama secured his second presidential term.
Who doesn’t want money for a simple retweet?
At number 17 we have a tweet from YouTuber MrBeast, offering out $10k to 100 lucky people who RTed it. It’s no surprise people jumped at the chance.
I’m going to give 100 random people who retweet this $100. Normally I’d give one person $10,000 but I want to give you guys better odds of winning :)— MrBeast (@MrBeastYT) July 24, 2019
You must be following me so I can dm you the code if you win! Will show proof!
Our next tweet is from way back in 2014 and concerns Indonesian politics. Clearly a big moment for the country, the tweet is from a political consultant named Denny Januar Ali.
The tweet calls on people to RT it in support of Joko Widodo, who hoped to become the country’s president. We can’t say whether the tweet had any impact or not for sure, but Widodo went on to win the election and is still president to this day.
Hoping to mimic the success of the most-liked Instagram post (also an egg), this tweet and account was created for the sole reason of becoming the most retweeted tweet ever.
While they haven’t managed it yet, they’ve done extremely well considering, as you can see, it’s just an egg.
On the 22 May 2017, a terrorist set off a bomb as people left an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK. 23 people were killed and many more injured, and it became the deadliest terror attack in the country in nearly 12 years.
Grande responded with this tweet, and has since returned to perform in the city.
The internet loves animals, particularly dogs, so when someone asks for retweets so they can be allowed to get one, people came out in full support.
Here Twitter user Ryan Sesselman shared a screenshot of a conversation where he was told he could get a dog if he got 1m retweets. And here we are.
Another ‘retweet for free stuff’ post – we have Damarious Randall, an American football player for the Cleveland Browns.
A few days before the 2018 NBA finals he promised a jersey to all retweeters if the Cleveland Cavaliers won. Luckily for his wallet, the Cavaliers lost all four games.
Back in 2018 a dance craze emerged. Spawned by this video of Shiggy dancing to Drake’s “In My Feelings”, soon people all over the world, including celebrities like Will Smith, were posting their own videos of them doing the dance.
At some point people started to do it alongside a moving car, which led to Jung Hoseok, of the massive K-pop group BTS, doing his own version. The tweet, with the help of the BTS Army, quickly went viral.
In the aftermath of the 2017 floods in Houston, massive efforts were made to raise money from around the world as Texas dealt with the disaster.
The Twitter account for the Pennsylvania State University Interfraternity Council also got involved, posting the below tweet saying they would donate for every RT it received. The council ended up donating $10,000.
Another member of BTS dancing in our list now, and this time it’s Jungook.
A simple and straightfoward tweet, it’s just Jungkook dancing to Billie Eilish’s hit “Bad Guy”. Twitter loved it.
The YouTuber is back again, although this tweet was posting before his other in the list. The gist is pretty much the same.
In this case though, rather than lots of winners of small prizes, there was one prize of $10,000. Unsurprisingly it got a lot more retweets.
I’m going give someone random who retweets this tweet $10,000 because it’s my birthday and I feel like being nice ☺️ (you have to be following me so I can dm you the code if you win)— MrBeast (@MrBeastYT) May 7, 2019
Prior to MrBeast’s Twitter giveaways, YouTuber Elrubius ran his own version.
It was simple enough. Retweet his tweet and get a chance to win some prizes, such as games consoles, televisions, and telescopes. Clearly a strong tactic. Stay tuned for more of Elrubius, too.
After the appearance of neo-Nazis and fascists in Charlottesville, Va., and the ensuing violence, Barack Obama put out a tweet many saw as a response.
The tweet is a picture of Obama with some kids, and a quote from Mandela’s book Long Walk to Freedom.
It’s Elrubius again, and for pretty much the same thing.
This was the first version of his LIMONADA giveaway. Again, just retweet the tweet and you might win some free stuff. Maybe all Twitter accounts should be doing this. 🤔
One of the most wholesome tweets on this list, it’s Louis Tomlinson sending a message of love to his One Direction bandmate Harry Styles.
And that’s it. The band’s huge Twitter following got involved and propelled it to Twitter stardom.
Taken at the Oscars in 2014, this tweet from Ellen DeGeneres includes a bunch of well-known faces, such as Bradley Cooper, Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt, and, now controversially, Kevin Spacey.
It’s clear proof that more celebs = more retweets.
What started as, we presume, an off-hand joke from Wendy’s social media manager, quickly turned into a massive viral moment. Carter Wilkerson needed his nuggs.
After asking how many RTs it would take to get a year of free chicken nuggets, the restaurant chain put the price at 18m. Carter got to work.
Before long the Twitterverse picked up the tweet and it got support from millions of accounts as #NuggsForCarter went global. Unfortunately, Carter fell far short of the 18m Wendy’s requested.
In the end though, it didn’t matter. For his hard work, and unexpected success, Wendy’s still gave him his years supply of nuggets, plus they donated $100k to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
At number two we have the most recent tweet on the list. It’s from Yusaku Maezawa, a massively successful Japanese businessman.
It’s another giveaway, with 1bn yen being promises to 1,000 people. A huge amount that explains this tweet’s placement. Money is obviously a motivator.
Here we are. The most retweeted tweet of all time is Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, promising money to 100 people.
In other words, it’s another money giveaway. For this one, it was to commemorate Maezawa’s company, ZOZO, raking in 10bn yen over the 2018/19 Christmas and New Year period. He promised to split 100m yen between 100 randomly chosen people.
A generous end to our list and an insightful lesson to all social media managers: people love free money.