Facebook lists 2011 top topics

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Well, yesterday we discovered what people have been tweeting about all year; and today, we find that Facebook users are a shallower bunch than Twitter users.

While world events, in particular in the Middle East, topped Twitter users' list of concerns, it seems Facebookers' interest in international affairs started and stopped with the death of Osama Bin Laden. This was the most-talked-about event by far on May 1 this year, mentioned in nearly 10 percent of status updates.

 Facebook lists 2011 top topicsHowever, the second-most popular topic on terms of status updates was the Packers' win at the Superbowl, while the third was the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial.

Charlie Sheen's departure from Two and a Half Men was fourth, followed by the death of Steve Jobs and the Royal Wedding. Amy Winehouse's death was seventh, and the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was eighth.

In terms of what Facebook calls 'cultural phenomena' things didn't get any more highbrow.

"Planking was the flash in the pan meme on Facebook for 2011. Status updates mentioning planking, where people lie face down in unusual locations, exploded in May," says Facebook data scientist Jonathan Chang on the company blog.

"That happened after Max Key, the son of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, posted a Facebook photo of himself planking in the family lounge with his father in the background."