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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top Trends on Facebook in 2013: The Super Bowl, Harlem Shake, Pope Francis & Miley Cyrus

Facebook has searched through its massive amount of data and created its year-end report showing the most popular trends of 2013, internationally and within the U.S. The most talked about topic worldwide? Pope Francis. In the United States? The Super Bowl.

The information is found through Facebook Stories, which also allows users to create their own year in review page that shows their most important status updates, photos and check-ins of 2013. The social media company measured the number of posts mentioning a particular person or event, including related hashtags. The word “election,” in broad terms, was the second-most talked about topic worldwide, followed by the Royal Baby.

Here are the stats:

Most talked about topics worldwide
1. Pope Francis
2. Election
3. Royal Baby
4. Typhoon
5. Margaret Thatcher
6. Harlem Shake
7. Miley Cyrus
8. Boston Marathon
9. Tour de France
10. Nelson Mandela

While it may have been a surprise to see Nelson Mandela on the list given the short amount of time since his death, it’s also a huge statement towards the impact he had on the world.

Most talked about topics in the U.S.
1. Super Bowl
2. Government Shutdown
3. Boston Marathon
4. Syria Crisis
5. Harlem Shake
6. Pope Francis
7. George Zimmerman
8. Royal Baby
9. Nelson Mandela
10. Presidential Inauguration
11. NBA Finals
12. Kim Kardashian
13. Miley Cyrus
14. James Gandolfini
15. Meteor Sighting

Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian made the list? Apparently some things never get old…

The Harlem Shake was No. 6 worldwide, but it was one of my most memorable events in 2013 due to its eccentricity and overall wackiness. “The Harlem Shake” is a heavy bass instrumental song that provoked a series of YouTube dance videos, in which a masked person would dance alone in a group before cutting to another shot of the entire group dancing crazily. The original Harlem Shake was uploaded on January 30, 2013 by video blogger Filthy_Frank from YouTube channel DizastaMusic and featured four people dressed in latex suits dancing to the song.

On February 7th, the staff of online video production company Maker Studios uploaded a version titled “Harlem Shake v3 (office edition)”. The video went viral, generating more than 7.4 million views in the first week and inspired other YouTubers to make their own videos. By February 13th (one week!), about 12,000 videos worldwide had been posted, with over 44 million views. The Harlem Shake showed how the Internet spreads trends like wildfire.

The Harlem Shake stands out most in my mind from 2013 due to its… peculiarity. Such a crazy idea, yet my friends and I would watch videos during study breaks and a couple Harlem Shakes were filmed at my university. What amazed me was how quickly it went viral. People across the entire world were gathering to do Harlem Shakes. It was one of those rare moments where the entire world was united around one Internet sensation. Not as official or formal as the Olympics, but still pretty impressive!

By Solveig Hommema, intern

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