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Joe Biden and Ariana Grande might seem like an unlikely pairing – although with Olivia Rodrigo visiting the White House earlier this year anything is possible – but they both have something in common.
The president and the popstar are set to officially be crowned the internet’s most popular celebrities, achieving the most liked tweet and Instagram post respectively of 2021.
Amid continued Covid restrictions, social media has once again come to be the primary way most of us have interacted with each other and our favourite celebs over the past year, so this New Year is the perfect time to look back at what united us all online in 2021.
It seems hard to believe it’s been less than a year since the chaos that was American politics in January 2021, but it’s true. Amid the fallout from the Capitol riots and Trump’s subsequent social media ban and impeachment, all eyes were on Washington on January 20 for Joe Biden’s inauguration, as well as on his Twitter account.
Shortly after being sworn into office, the 45th POTUS tweeted ‘It’s a new day in America,’ effectively summing up the relief of half the nation. The tweet has racked up 4 million likes, making it the most-liked tweet of 2021, as well as the third most liked tweet of all time.
From the commander of the US military to a completely different kind of Army, it’s BTS who take the win for the most retweeted tweet of 2021, with a wholesome video of the band singing along at a Harry Styles concert retweeted more than 1.1 million times.
In a year when political stress and the continued looming presence of COVID-19 dominated the news, it’s maybe no surprise that people were drawn to a good love story. 2021 started off with the earth-shattering news of the Kimye split, but from then on it was undoubtedly the year of the unexpected couple, from the Bennifer reunion to Kravis, with Kim and Pete (Kete, Pim?) capping off a wild year for celebrity romances.
But on Instagram, one star’s happily ever-after won the day, with Ariana Grande’s post showing off the details of her wedding to Dalton Gomez receiving more than 26.7 million likes, making it the most popular celebrity Instagram post of the year.
Hot on the heels of Grande in terms of Instagram popularity was Billie Eilish, whose brand new look debuted on the social media platform ahead of the release of her second album Happier Than Ever. The 19-year-old’s reveal that she’d gone bleach-blonde was liked 23.1 million times, with her bombshell cover shoot for British Vogue scoring 22 million likes.
Unfortunately for Ariana and Billie, their posts were both beaten out by an unexpected rival, with the now-iconic Egg account receiving a massive 55.3 million likes – more than double the number achieved by Grande in second place.
Over on TikTok, the landscape is a whole lot different, with celebrity TikTok accounts generally getting far less traction that TikTokers and influencers who have racked up tens of millions of followers despite hardly being known in mainstream society. In 2021, the most popular TikToker remained Charlie D’Amelio, who, to be fair, has become more of a household name since the launch of her family’s new reality show on E!.
Big names also lose out when it comes to soundtracking Gen-Z content, with the most used song on the platform going to Kreepa’s Oh No, which was used in an insane 13.1 million videos, ahead of chart hit drivers license by Rodrigo, which despite being the most-streamed song on Spotify this year, featured in a comparatively tiny 1.9 million clips.
In a year when social media’s impact on the world has grown increasingly controversial, the most popular posts of the year are proof that there are at least some things we can all agree on.
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