Yesterday Facebook released a list of the 40 most shared articles so far in 2011. The full list runs the gamut from investigative and international stories to viral videos, but with one unifying thread: all articles came from major news sources. As Mashable notes, “All 40 of the stories come from just six online outlets: Yahoo has 13 stories, CNN has 11, the New York Times has 7, The Huffington Post has 7, The Wall Street Journal has one and the Washington Post has one.”
Many of the articles can also be grouped around some salient themes: parenting (“Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps” is #4), the Japanese quake (“Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami” is #1) and viral videos (the “Father Daughter Dance Medley” video is #5).
So what does this tell us about article sharing on Facebook? It’s no surprise that huge international issues like Japan’s earthquake top the 2011 list, but the study does provide an interesting snapshot of the Internet hive mind in 2011. “The stories range from cute to thought provoking,” writes Facebook, “and represent the type of news people have been sharing and discovering with friends in 2011.”
You can read the full list here.