Here is the top 10 list, with selected commentary from Backstrom on the jump:
2: World Cup
4: iPad and iPhone 4
6: Justin Bieber
7: Games on Facebook
For our second Facebook Memology study, we looked at what terms grew the most in status updates in 2010 compared with the year before. The results reflect the highs and lows of world events that started a global conversation, new uses of language online, and the sharing of popular culture between friends.
For this year’s look at Memology, we analyzed status updates across 236 countries. We computed the rate at which each phrase occurred in 2010 and compared that to 2009, looking for ones that had increased by both a large percentage and a large volume (view last year’s list). All personally identifiable information was removed from the status updates to conduct this analysis.
Whether looking for something to do or just getting off work, people began to add “HMU” to their status updates when they were ready to meet their friends. Standing for “hit me up,” the acronym was barely used last year, but grew suddenly and steadily throughout 2010, especially during summer breaks and weekends.
The shorthand for “hit me up” was this year’s biggest surprise. 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. 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.
While HMU made its debut, it wasn’t the only digital vernacular to make the list. Talk about “airplanes” surged this year, not because people suddenly discovered travel, but because they were citing lyrics from the hugely popular song “Airplanes” by B.o.B. “Barn raising” was the most popular phrase for the Games category as gamers on Facebook asked their friends to help them out on FarmVille.
The story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days captivated the world. People globally watched the truly inspiring story unfold as they were rescued one by one after an unimaginable time underground.
Looking at the mentions of miners and the Spanish “mineros,” we saw three distinct bursts of activity. The first one occurred exclusively in Chile in August, when the mine first collapsed and contact with the miners was lost. A week later, the miners were miraculously found alive and the rest of the world started to talk about them a little bit, but the story was still predominantly in Chile. Over the course of the next 60 days, the world watched the trials and tribulations as workers above ground scrambled to drill rescue shafts.
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.