A Social Media Perspective of the VMAs

A Social Media Perspective of the VMAs

As expected, last week’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) was a very trendy topic, not because of the eventual winners but because of all the happenings during the event. A ceremony known to be rife with talk-worthy incidents as well as a handful of controversial performances, this year’s VMA was no different from previous years’ events despite the lack of artists stealing the limelight during award speeches or girl on girl kissing. Still, the event was still very much a hot topic as it has broken records in both TV ratings and social media alike. Here are some of the most hotly talked about topics on Twitter about the 2013 VMAs.

Miley Cyrus’ Raunchy Performance

The former Disney star’s performance during the event was hands down the most trending topic during and after the VMAs. Her performance, consisting of skin tight bodysuits and giant teddy bears all over the stage, as well as her twerking moves and lewd gestures during her duet with Robin Thicke garnered an astounding 306,000 tweets a minute, shattering the previous record held by Beyonce during last year’s Superbowl halftime show. Her performance was almost universally panned not because of her talent (although some also put this into question) but because it was a very far departure from her previous wholesome image, and many are predicting this to be the start of a downward spiral that similar former child stars like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes have experienced.

Still, if it was popularity or even infamy that Cyrus wanted that caused her to do what she did, then it was all not in vain. MTV has actually congratulated Miley due to her being the hottest trending topic on Twitter, and her performance did not hurt her popularity on other social media sites as well.

NSYNC’s Reunion Performance

Justin Timberlake was the big winner during the VMAs with six nominations and winning four of them, including Video of the Year and the Michael Jackson Vanguard award, but it was his performance with former band mates NSYNC that stole the limelight from those victories. Although all five members performed on stage for less than a minute, the Twitter world was taken by storm as fans talked about a possible reunion of one of the biggest boy bands of the late 90s and early 2000s. Despite this, however, there are no official plans as of yet for a new tour or any form of reunion between Timberlake and his former group mates.

One Direction and Lady Gaga

One Direction won the award for Best Song of the summer for their song “Best Song Ever”, but the trending topic on social media was on the way the audience reacted to them during the awarding. It was quite obvious that the group was being booed at, and the fact that Taylor Swift, 1D’s Harry Styles’ ex, was caught on camera mouthing off an expletive did not help their cause.

One Direction did have one angel in the form of Lady Gaga, though. The eccentric pop star was very visibly supportive of the group and gave them comforting words backstage. Lady Gaga was also a hot topic due to her performance as well as her rather tame appearance during the event.


The 2013 VMA’s was the highest entertainment telecast of the year with over 10 million viewers, greatly improving their numbers as compared to last year’s event. The ceremony also garnered 1.2 million Instagram likes, 120 trending topics on Twitter, and who knows how many posts related to the topic on Facebook and other social media sites. Those are very hard figures to top, and viewers would only have to wait until next year’s VMAs to see if they can live up to expectations.

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