Around the world in 2013: The most important Twitter trends of the year

Yahoo pulls together the most prominent hashtags of the year from all corners of the world - offering background, context and example tweets for each and every hashtag

A royal baby, a raunchy dance, a new pope, 1D and the crowning of a tennis champion were just some of the hot topics of conversation this year on Twitter in the UK.

The birth of the Prince of Cambridge in July, which was announced both on the easel at Buckingham Palace and on Twitter, sparked a frenzy of excitement on the social networking site which spread rapidly across the world.

A spike in conversation came in the minutes following the initial announcement, with more than 25,300 tweets per minute.

At the time, Twitter said the highest volumes of conversation came from the USA, the UK, Canada, France and Italy.

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A popular debate surrounding baby George was Twitter users guessing what name the future king would be given.

More than 18,000 people a minute tweeted about the royal prince as he made his first public appearance with his parents on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

The baby's first appearance with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was also "live-tweeted'' by the Royal Family's official @ClarenceHouse Twitter account, which provides updates about the couple, The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Harry.

Leading figures including Prime Minister David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby took to the site to share their joy on hearing the news of the royal arrival.

Although it got people talking, the announcement of the royal baby's birth failed to generate the same flurry of activity on social media as Andy Murray's historic Wimbledon victory earlier in the month which amassed 120,000 tweets per minute, or the election of Pope Francis in March which sparked a massive 132,000 tweets per minute.

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Contributing to the thousands of celebratory tweets following Murray's tennis triumph were figures as diverse as Mr Cameron, Victoria Beckham and millionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

While the election of a new pontiff may be a centuries-old process it captured the imagination of the modern age - prompting seven million mentions on Twitter.

While thousands of people took to the streets of Rome for the historic event, millions more trained their eyes on the Sistine Chapel from afar and flooded the internet with updates.