Following the tradition of year-end list, Facebook released its Memology: Top which according to the Facebook blog is a study of how “memes” or new ideas and trends spread on Facebook, through member’s status updates and wall postings. Facebook mapped the top trending words and phrases in the U.S. Facebook members to come up with this 2009 list.
If you’ve been following similar annual trend list released by other websites including Google, Twitter and YouTube where the top trends are mostly entertainment and global affairs related, the top trends on Facebook clings more on personal topics. This is of course understandable since Facebook networks are more personalized.
Here’s Facebook’s explanation on how they came up with the list:
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.
So, here goes Facebook’s Top 5 Status Trends of 2009:
1. Facebook Applications – specific words: Farmville, Farm Town, Social Living
2. FML – specific words: F_ _ k 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