Facebook Memology presents the most popular topics and cultural trends of 2011

Let's be honest, this is only scratching the surface as to how many data trends the social network are collecting about its users; but the Facebook Data Team have returned to present this year's Memology, tapping into the social graph by tracking 2011's most talked about topics, memes and the widely used acronyms on the service.

But first, as the term "meme" gets thrown around a lot to define many different nuggets of social data, here's the official definition:

Meme: A unit of cultural information that spreads from person to person.

So it is not just your "insanity wolves" or "socially awkward penguins," rather all transactions of information in general.


The Global trends are rather self explanatory as to how they ended up in their respective positions, with 10% of all statuses on Facebook on May 1st being about the death of Osama bin Laden.  Packers fans have proven to be rather committed social media debonairs as they've trended since their win against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Super Bowl XLV.  Charlie Sheen was helped along by the likes of his "winning" and "Tiger blood" memes, as they took off since his TV interview to become massively popular.

To focus on audiences more local to us, here's how the social trends look for the UK:

Key differences are pretty apparent: we loved our Royal Wedding and hated the riots, shooting them up to the top two positions.  

Looking towards the top meme of 2011, ever take part in planking?  Or as we may know it as 'The Lying down game?'  People lying down in strange locations became a worldwide trend as the son of New Zealand's Prime Minister, Max Key, shared a photo of him planking in the living room with his Dad in the background.  

That explains the first spike in data, and the second would be Katy Perry and Tom Green's attempt to bring more attention to it, which resulted in a much more gradual decline as trends around the fad slowly came to a halt.

The Data team also published their findings about trending additions to the 'Facebook Lexicon,' a term which will continue to disturb grammar Nazis such as myself.  The two trending acronyms of 2011 were "lms:" Like my status, and "tbh:" to be honest.

You can take a look at more of the data collected, such as both House the character and the TV show were the most liked fictional character and TV show on a pretty nifty Facebook app, and they released a video as well, detailing their findings.

Source: Facebook

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