Football, Wimbledon and One Direction dominate Twitter in 2013

Football featured in seven of the UK's top 10 Twitter "surges" in 2013, the social network has revealed in its end-of-year roundup.

Manchester United being knocked out of the Champions League finished ahead of New Year's Eve as the event that caused the biggest spike among Twitter users this year.

Lewis Wiltshire, head of media partnerships at Twitter UK said: "Football dominated the most-tweeted-about moments in terms of tweets-per-second. The natural way you react when you see a great goal is to grab your phone."

Apart from New Year's Eve, the only other events unrelated to football that caused a spike in tweets were Andy Murray's win at Wimbledon and Mumford and Sons' set at Glastonbury.

In terms of retweets, the boy band One Direction was responsible for three of the top five most retweeted messages.

Band member Niall Horan's birthday tweet was shared 375,000 times. It read: "Yesss ! I'm 20 ! Wohooo ! No more teens!"

Tweets regarding the deaths of Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker and Glee actor Cory Monteith were the two most popular retweets worldwide.

Twitter's year will be remembered for not just the tweets sent out, but the development of the social network into a publicly owned company. Its successful launch onto the stock exchange in November was the largest technology floatation of 2013, despite a long run of financial losses.

The year ahead should expect to see Twitter seeking to turn the losses into profit, with an "imminent acquisition spree" worth around £1 billion predicted by some experts.