Trending in 2015: What took the top spots on Twitter and Facebook?

From Caitlyn Jenner to President Obama, Facebook and Twitter have released their most-talked about topics for 2015.

Rich Fury/Invision/AP
Niall Horan, from left, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne of One Direction arrive at 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball iHeartRadio at Staples Center on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Los Angeles.

As 2015 comes to an end, both Twitter and Facebook have released their top 10 lists for the year. Culturally and politically, the reports by both social media sites offered some surprises. 

On both Twitter and Facebook, Caitlyn Jenner and One Direction ruled supreme.

On Twitter this year, Caitlyn Jenner’s new account amassed over 1 million followers in four hours, the fastest ever. She even claimed a Guinness World Record for the fastest account to reach that mark. Jenner also earned eighth place for the most mentioned entertainer on Facebook.

The boy band One Direction owned retweets in 2015, especially after member Zayn Malik left the group.

One Direction claimed four of the top five retweets of 2015, with the outlier stolen by President Obama after the legalization of gay marriage. The most retweeted post came from Harry Styles at 730,298, followed by One Direction's Zayn Malik and Liam Payne with 567,193 and 496,729 retweets respectively. #OneDirection also won the spot for the most used music hashtag in 2015.

And when it comes to sports, the US favorites of football, baseball, and basketball were largely absent. In a 2014 Gallup poll, 35 percent of American sports fans voted the NFL as their favorite sport, followed by Major League baseball and the NBA.

But the top five athletes mentioned on Facebook this year – Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Ronda Rousey, Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo – hail from other sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts, and soccer. NFL star Tom Brady and NBA stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James round out the top 10. 

Twitter followed the same surprising trend, with the Women’s World Cup hashtag #FIFAWWC earning more mentions than any other sports-related hashtag. “Tweets about the #FIFAWWC were viewed nine billion times from June 6 to July 5, making the tournament one of the largest global sporting events of the year,” Twitter reports. 

HBO’s "Game of Thrones" took the number-one spot for popular TV shows mentioned on Facebook, but after winning a record-breaking 12 Emmys in September, this is hardly a surprise. But the most talked about film on Facebook, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," hasn't even been released yet. 

Leading hashtags on Twitter related to politics and society included #PrayforParis, #BlackLivesMatter, #LoveWins, #RefugeesWelcome, and #IStandWithAhmed. On Facebook, however, news seemed to revolve around US politics with the US presidential election taking the top spot.

“Even a year before US voters go to the polls, the race for the 2016 Presidential Election was a huge point of global conversation in 2015,” Facebook writes. “People turned to Facebook to talk about the issues, discover news and information, and engage with the politicians vying for the presidency.” 

President Obama was the most mentioned politician on Facebook, with presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Bernie Sanders also making the top five. 

The prominence of the US 2016 presidential campaign is especially noteworthy when considering neither Twitter nor Facebook has an American-dominant user base. Both Twitter and Facebook boast a non-American majority, with 79 and 75 percent of its accounts originating from outside the US, respectively.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Trending in 2015: What took the top spots on Twitter and Facebook?
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2015/1209/Trending-in-2015-What-took-the-top-spots-on-Twitter-and-Facebook
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe