Facebook's Memology 2011 Report Documents Top Trends

By Monica Gleberman December 28, 2011

Each year, millions of people post on Facebook to share what is important to them, discuss world events, or just goof off with their friends. With more than 800 million active users connected worldwide, news, tragedies, and trends travel fast.

Facebook just released its 2011 Memology, which gives a complete rundown of top Facebook’s most talked about topics and biggest memes of 2011. Memes such as planking, “Ims” (like my status) and “tbh” (to be honest) were identified as top trending cultural phenomena for the year on the social networking site.

The top cultural trend this year was planking, which is the act of lying face down in a strange location. Essentially, a person emulates a wooden plank. May was a big month for the planking memes on Facebook because Max Key, the son of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, posted a photo of himself planking in the family lounge.

Beyond news topics, “Memology 2011” documents the popularity of the acronyms “lms” and “tbh,” which were both top status update trends and emerged this year as a way to interact with friends on Facebook, with Yahoo News saying this was the year of the Facebook status with more people using it to rely news. “Status updates were closely linked to news stories and major events in 2011. Early in the year sports events captured the attention of fans around the world. Facebook users cheered on their favorite teams when the Green Bay Packers triumphed over the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl XLV on February 6.”

“This year was also marked by outpourings of sadness and memories after the deaths of Amy Winehouse in July and Steve Jobs in October,” said Facebook.

A Facebook data scientist said that the trends and topics were measured based on how the usage of words grew year-over-year. Facebook provides a look at the top status trends in 14 additional countries, highlighting the similarities and differences between all Facebook users worldwide.

The report said that in Brazil, Osama bin Laden’s death trended slightly below the death of singer Amy Winehouse and Corinthians, a local soccer team, took the number seven spot – whereas in the United States the number one trending topic went to Osama bin Laden. Right behind was the Superbowl, Casey Anthony found not guilty, Charlie Sheen, and Steve Jobs death rounded out the top five.

Facebook is not the only social network to document the year. Twitter has been busy documenting the year in Tweets on its blog. The most heavily Tweeted event? The MTV Video Music Awards when singer Beyonce announced she was pregnant.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Writer

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