One of the lesser known and more interesting features of the social media Leviathan that is Facebook is that every year they release some country specific data allowing us to see what different parts of the world are talking about.
They have just released their Australian data today, along with about 20 other major countries.
Most talked about topics (by Australian Facebook users):
2. Kate Middleton
4. Kevin Rudd
5. Grand Final
9. Tony Abbott
10. Big Brother
Most talked about Global Topics:
1. Pope Francis
3. Royal Baby
5. Harlem Shake
7. Miley Cyrus
8. Boston Marathon
9. Tour De France
10. Nelson Mandela
Most talked about Entertainment Topics:
1. Big Brother
2. The Voice
3. One Direction
4. Breaking Bad
Most popular Check-in Location in Australia:
1. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
What does this tell us about ourselves?
Well, we’re sport obsessed. Duh.
We have an active and abiding interest in politics – read, in expressing our opinion – and social media is increasingly where we do it.
We seem surprisingly to still be very interested in “the Royals”.
And Miley Cyrus is, well, Miley Cyrus. We live in terror that the twerking popette will be chosen as Time Person of the Year.
Reviewing the full Facebook 2013 year in review is a fascinating glimpse into what “real people” are interested in.
Worldwide, our most commonly posted life event is a relationship. Getting married, engaged, or being “in a relationship”. How we perceive ourselves in a social sense is clearly an important part of our self-awareness that we wish to broadcast. And interestingly, sport in general seems markedly less important in Asia than it is in Europe or countries that “grew out of” old Europe.
Anyhow, you can checkout the Facebook annual report, including data from many other countries, here: http://www.facebookstories.com/2013/en-en
One of the quirks of this year’s results is the persistent success of “The Harlem Shake”. This silly internet meme was essentially tens of thousands of thirty second dance videos uploaded to YouTube worldwide. Always following the same format, the massive success of the videos was in part attributed to the anticipation of the breakout moment about halfway through the videos, and their universally short length, making them very accessible to watch.
The Washington Post opined that the meme’s instant virality by referring to the jump cuts, hypnotic beat, quick setups, and half minute routines. At Wellthisiswhatithink we were a little more cynical: the success is largely attributable to people having too much time on their hands and too little to do. Bah, humbug.
The Harlem Shake is technically very easy for fans to reproduce, as it consists of a single locked camera shot and one jump cut. Nonetheless, the simplicity of the concept allows fans considerable scope in creating their own distinctive variant and making their mark, while retaining the basic elements. In its simplest form, it could be made with just one person; a more sophisticated version might even involve a crowded stadium. Moreover, there is a level playing field for celebrities and fans alike, with no guarantee of success for either group. There is a strong vein of humour running through each video that is not dependent on language, further increasing its potential to spread virally.
Sample the best of the worst here. And a warning, this is four and half minutes you’ll never get back.
(In his “day job”, the author of Wellthisiswhatithink is a marketing and advertising consultant working for one of Melbourne’s leading ad agencies, Magnum Opus, see: magnumopus.com.au. To chat to Steve Yolland about proper grown-up paid advertising advice or to sample his communications knowledge, or maybe to get an opinion on your organisation’s current public profile, just email him on email@example.com …)