Facebook, using the millions of daily status updates at its disposal, has announced their ‘most discussed’ topics of 2009. According to the analysis, it would appear that Facebook users care a great deal about: family (#5), Facebook apps (#1), Lady Gaga (#12), and, yes, even Twitter (#10).
How Facebook Performed the Analysis
Dubbed Facebook Memology, Facebook analyzed one- to four-word phrases within all the Facebook status updates of 2009. Taking this one step further, Facebook Memology also took “bursts of activity” and other factors into account.
“To generate the list, we started by looking at how many times each phrase with length from one-to-four words occurred in U.S. Facebook status updates, then we computed the rate at which each phrase occurred in 2009 compared to 2008. Using some data-mining methods detailed here, we analyzed important bursts in activity around words and series of words to find the key trends for the year. All personally identifiable information was removed from the status updates to conduct this analysis, and no one at Facebook read the individual status updates.”
For the full details on the technical side of the analysis, you can access the Facebook Data team’s thorough explanation of its methodology.
So, onto the Top Facebook Topics of 2009
Facebook grouped specific keywords and phrases together to build their list of the most discussed topics on Facebook. Here’s the full list:
Facebook provides a very detailed analysis of their top 15 Facebook status trends, but most are self-explanatory.
The number one trend was Facebook apps, specifically the discussion of FarmVille in status updates. The game, which has taken Facebook by storm, has made not only FarmVille a popular phrase on the social network, but “Farm Town” and “Farm” as well.
One of the more interesting trends is family, which came in at number five. Specifically, discussion about family, moms, dads, daughters, etc. jumped during 2009. Considering Facebook’s user population is getting older, this isn’t such a big surprise.
Not surprisingly, Twitter came in number 10 on this list and “RT” (ie. Retweet) also became a popular trend on Facebook. That said, Facebook, didn’t miss the opportunity for a minor dig at its rival by declaring that “mentions of the word Twitter decreased over the past few months.”