Best of 2014: Social Media Moments

It was the year of selfies, Snapchat, and soccer, with World Cup conversations and Ellen DeGeneres's A-list Oscars photo breaking Facebook and Twitter records. Here's a look at the most notable moments on social media in 2014.

By Beth Kormanik December 15, 2014, 7:45 AM EST

David Beckham and two of his sons were slimed at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Nickelodeon

And the Winner Is…
Broadcast networks and production companies have embraced award shows as a way to capture ratings and encourage audiences to post about the events in real time. The past year saw the introduction of the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards, and—perhaps the cutest—the CW’s World Dog Awards.

Year of the Selfie 
This year the selfie phenomenon reached an all-time high. Brands picked up on the trend immediately—with good and bad results. Samsung scored a win when Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres crammed A-list stars into a photo taken during the broadcast (the image was subsequently retweeted nearly 3.4 million times). But when the company promoted a selfie of Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz posing with President Obama, the plug was criticized as overly commercial.

Facebook Frenzy
The World Cup set a new record for Facebook: It was the most-discussed event ever, generating more than one billion interactions. More people talked about the tournament in one week than they did about this year’s Super Bowl, Oscars, and Olympics combined.

Paying It Forward
Brands from frozen vegetable company Birds Eye to fashion designer Marc Jacobs experimented with a new social strategy this year: accepting Instagram posts as a form of payment at their pop-up activations. The “paid by picture” strategy populated brands’ social streams with relevant content, while guests left happy. Social success.

It’s a Snap
MTV revealed the nominees for the Video Music Awards through the video-sharing app Snapchat, showing that the youth-friendly network still knows how to reach its audience. It also acknowledged their attention spans: Each video was a maximum of 10 seconds. Snapchat debuted new services for live events this year, such as collecting images into a shared photo album.

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