As 2012 winds down, we can expect to see a number of “Year in Review” posts from several technology and web-based companies that deal directly with consumers. Twitter recently published such a post where they looked back on the events that stood out the most this year and perhaps more than any other company, their data is a direct reflection on what people were talking about the most in 2012.

Instead of just listing several of the top tweets throughout the year, the microblogging platform broke down popular tweets into several themes.

Golden Tweets are described as those that generated the most retweets. In 2012, the top tweet was Barack Obama’s “Four more years” which quickly became the most retweeted message of the year following his reelection and the most retweeted post ever.

The Pulse of the Planet category signifies the biggest conversations of the year surrounding a single event. This year, the top honor belongs to the London Olympic Games which generated more than 150 million tweets over its 16 day run. Other notable runners-up include the US presidential election, the MTV Music Video Awards and the Super Bowl.

A tweet from Mars and a photo of Superstorm Sandy ranked high in the Only on Twitter category, a section dedicated to tweets that are described as organic and just plain awesome. Underwater tweets from the Olympic Games and the space shuttle Endeavour’s final flight home earned honorable mentions as well.

Trending topics were further broken down into subcategories that include conversation starters, politics, sports, TV, movies, music, food, tech and countries. The top trend in each category is as follows, respectively: #nowplaying, #tcot, #nfl, family guy, think like a man, rick ross, ihop, at&t and #syria.

The final category in Twitter’s 2012 spotlight is called New Voices. It celebrates high profile celebrities and public figures that joined the site this year. Much like the Trending topics category, it’s broken down into several subcategories for easier digestion. A few noteworthy additions include actor Steve Carell, news host Matt Lauer, musicians Neil Young and Gwen Stefani and Pope Benedict XVI.