2017 was a year in food for the Internet, according to Twitter.
While politics, sports, and Korean boy bands may have dominated social media trends this year, one user’s deal with Wendy’s and a Turkish chef’s love of salt topped the lists for the biggest tweets and memes of 2017.
Yesterday, Twitter released its annual list of the social site’s top trending people and topics for 2017. While it was filled with the names of presidents, NBA stars and musicians, one young man from Reno, Nevada took the top spot for the most retweeted tweet of the last 12 months. Carter Wilkerson beat out the likes of former President Barack Obama and singer Ariana Grande and it was all in the name of ‘nuggs.
Back in April, Wilkerson set out on a mission to find out how many retweets it would take to get Wendy’s to give him a lifetime’s worth of nuggets. Wendy’s responded, telling Wilkerson that all he had to do was earn 18 million retweets and the ‘nuggs were his. Much like many other Twitter retweet campaigns, Wilkerson called on his fellow Twitter users to rally around him in support. The result: 3.6 million retweets (so far), making him not only the most retweeted person of the year but the most retweeted person on the platform ever. He also earned support from other brands and companies along the way, including Amazon and Microsoft.
Both Wilkerson and Wendy’s took to social media to celebrate their names (and mission) making Twitter history.
Meanwhile, an obsession with a Turkish chef and his salty ways has earned him a spot as one of the biggest memes of 2017. If you’ve ever used a GIF on Twitter, it probably came from Tenor, the world’s largest mobile GIF platform and number one GIF-sharing app on iOS and Android. In perfect timing with Twitter’s year-end lists release, Tenor revealed what its most shared GIFs and memes of the year were, with Instagram star and Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe making it into the top five.
Many will know “Salt Bae” for his ability to capture the eyes and hearts of social media users after a video of him majestically salting meat emerged early this past summer. Soon after the chef was spotted among celebrities, most notably Leonardo DiCaprio, and his signature seasoning move became so iconic that it was added as a character move in one of the year’s most anticipated video games. Salt Bae’s rise to stardom has been a bit of a conundrum for some, but it hasn’t stopped others from continuing to love him and his salty sprinkling. Our reaction to Salt Bae being the #2 meme of the year?