Facebook Posts Top 10 Status Trends

Social network users were most interested in the World Cup, movies, and communicating one-on-one with their friends, according to the most common topics of 2010.

Alison Diana, Contributing Writer

December 14, 2010

4 Min Read

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Flock Browses All Your Social Connections

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Slideshow: Flock Browses All Your Social Connections

Millennials may worry that parents and even grandparents are logging on and friending them, but the younger generation clearly continues to dominate Facebook, if the social media site's newly released 2010 Memology: Top Status Trends of the Year is any indicator.

After all, HMU took the top spot. It's not an IT acronym or the name of the latest computer game. Rather, it's shorthand for "hit me up," meaning "give me a call, email, text, or instant message." The acronym was scarcely used in 2009, but this year grew suddenly and steadily, especially over summer vacation and weekends, said Lars Backstrom, a data scientist at Facebook, in a company blog.

"In early 2009, the acronym HMU was virtually unheard of. Only a few posts a day contained HMU, and half of them were probably typos. By May, however, it started to grow slowly and was averaging about 20 posts a day," Backstrom said. "The volume roughly doubled every month, and by the end of 2009 it had risen to 1,600 posts a day -- too modest of a number to be on our radar for last year's list. However, HMU continued to grow aggressively throughout 2010, increasing by about 75% each month. By the end of summer, HMU reached 80,000 mentions per day."

The second-most popular subject was the World Cup, not surprising given the international reach of Facebook. In fact, the global soccer championship also came in second in Twitter's analysis of top trends of the year. Both the start of the games and the finals created the most attention, generating 1.5 million and 1.3 million mentions, respectively, of the World Cup, he said. Up to 50% of all status updates were related to some aspect of the World Cup at times, said Backstrom.

Movies rounded out the top three trends. In order, Toy Story 3, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Inception, Alice in Wonderland, and Iron Man 2, were the five most-discussed by Facebook users. In Twitter's recap, Inception ranked third.

Apple's products -- in particular its iPad and iPhone 4 -- were the subjects of more than 25 million Facebook posts, propelling the mobile devices to the fourth spot in Facebook's second annual trend report. The iPad alone ranked sixth in the Twitter trend review.

Facebook users also were vocal about the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, posting the first status update within one minute of the 7.0-magnitude quake's strike, Backstrom said. Four minutes after it hit, firsthand reports came in at the rate of 120 per minute, he said. A day after the disaster struck, Facebook users discussed the tragedy at a peak rate of 1,800 posts per minute, said Backstrom. Twitter users propelled Haiti to the second-most mentioned subject.

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Top 20 Apps For Managing Social Media

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Top 20 Apps For Managing Social Media

As most tweens know, 2010 was a breakout year for Justin Bieber, the teen singing sensation who placed eighth on Twitter's list. The pop star was apparently more popular on Facebook, coming in as the sixth-most discussed topic on the social media site. Bieber's September 12 debut on the MTV Video Music Awards generated the most mentions, said Backstrom.

Facebook games also created buzz, coming in seventh.

"The biggest trending phrase was 'barn raising.' No, there wasn't a mass exodus from cities to the country life among people on Facebook. Instead, they were recruiting their friends to virtual versions of the old-time tradition of a community event to build a new barn," Backstrom said.

The 33 Chilean miners and their 69 days underground captured the news media -- and the Facebook community, bringing them to the eighth most-mentioned subject position. Status reports spiked when the mine first collapsed, when the miners were found alive, and as above-ground teams scrambled to create a rescue plan.

"When the ordeal finally ended, millions of people posted about it. In fact, they watched so carefully that when we zoom in to look at posts during the rescue, we see 33 unique spikes in activity -- one for each of the rescued miners," said Backstrom.

The word "airplanes" came in ninth, primarily because of the lyrics of the international hit song "Airplanes." Typically, users posted a specific line: "Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars..."

People like to look ahead, thus "2011" rounded out the top 10, and mentions are steadily increasing as Jan. 1, draws closer, said Backstrom.

In 2009, the top 10 status trends were: Facebook applications; FML (f--- my life); swine flu; celebrity deaths; family; movies; sports; FB; and Twitter.

About the Author(s)

Alison Diana

Contributing Writer

Alison Diana is an experienced technology, business and broadband editor and reporter. She has covered topics from artificial intelligence and smart homes to satellites and fiber optic cable, diversity and bullying in the workplace to measuring ROI and customer experience. An avid reader, swimmer and Yankees fan, Alison lives on Florida's Space Coast with her husband, daughter and two spoiled cats. Follow her on Twitter @Alisoncdiana or connect on LinkedIn.

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