Twitter just won this year’s Crunchie Award for Biggest Social Impact.
While much of the recent discussion around the company has focused on internal politics and its relationship with Wall Street, it’s worth remembering that Twitter has become the center of so much of our political and social discussion.
The outcry over the treatment of protesters in Ferguson may have been the most memorable example of the service’s power, but pretty much anytime people were talking about something important last year, they were doing it on Twitter. And while conversation doesn’t automatically lead to positive change, it’s often where change starts.
Our runner-up was Tim Cook’s public coming out in a powerful essay in Businessweek. The Apple CEO is famously private about his personal life, but he wrote, “If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”
The other nominees were anonymous chat network Firechat, education nonprofit Girls Who Code, and Internet.org, Facebook’s initiative to bring the world online.