Twitter and Facebook's Top Topics of 2009

Last Updated Dec 22, 2009 11:35 AM EST

Perhaps the biggest social media development of the last year has been the widespread use of real-time status updates and their related feeds to the world, whether broadcasted via Twitter or Facebook and possibly next up, on Google Wave.
Twitter has released its list of 2009's top tweet topics and reflecting the medium's use as a news sharing platform, Iran and its elections dominated the top of the list.
Twitter users naturally group topics around hashtags, those searchable keywords preceded with an # character. Here are the top ten hashtags of 2009:
  • 1. #musicmonday
  • 2. #iranelection
  • 3. #sxsw
  • 4. #swineflu
  • 5. #nevertrust
  • 6. #mm
  • 7. #rememberwhen
  • 8. #3drunkwords
  • 9. #unacceptable
  • 10. #iwish
While Twitter is seen as a way to join the conversation with the general public, Facebook on the other hand, tends (although this is slowly changing) to favor closed networks of friends.

Roughly ten percent of Facebook's 350 users share their short updates with their friends each day. That's a lot of data to dissect and its not necessarily as neatly organized as Twitter because of a lack of hashtags. Therefore, Facebook's Memology project classified trending words within general categories. Here's their list:

  • 1 - Facebook Applications Specific words: Farmville, Farm Town, Social Living
  • 2 - FML Specific word: FML (This is slang for "F*ck My Life")
  • 3 - Swine Flu Specific words: Flu, Swine Flu, H1N1
  • 4 - Celebrity Deaths Specific words: Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Billy Mays
  • 5 - Family Specific words: Family, Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter, Kids
  • 6 - Movies Specific words: New Moon, Transformers, Star Trek, The Hangover, Paranormal Activity and Harry Potter
  • 7 - Sports Specific words: Steelers, Yankees
  • 8 - Health Care Specific words: Health Care, No one should have to--
  • 9 - FB Specific words: FB, FB Friends, News Feed
  • 10 - Twitter Specific words: Twitter, RT
  • 11 - Years Specific words: 2008, 2009, 2010
  • 12 - Lady Gaga Specific words: Gaga, Poker Face
  • 13 - Yard Specific word: Yard
  • 14 - Religion Specific words: Easter, Lord, God
Yes, it seems a little odd that Facebook users care more about tending to their yards while listening to Lady Gaga than they do about religion. You can share what conclusions can be drawn from this data, if any, in the comments section below.
  • Stefan Deeran

    Stefan Deeran helps environmental nonprofits and green businesses develop and execute their new media campaigns. He also publishes The Exception magazine, a nonpartisan news platform serving his home state of Maine. You can follow him on Twitter @RStefanDeeran or via Facebook.