Facebook 2009: Farmville, FML and Swine Flu

23 Dec 2009

As we busy ourselves reading about top ten gadgets, games, movies and similar lists Facebook got to thinking that with over 350 million users it could get a good sense of the zeitgeist of 2009 by analysing our status updates.

Facebook refers to this status update analysis as ‘Facebook Memology’: “When taken as a whole, these words offer a unique barometer into the issues, world events and thoughts that are connecting people,” said Lars Backstrom on the official Facebook blog.

Rather than analysing keywords, Facebook claims that it can meter the online vibe this year by looking at how ideas or trends spread across the social networking site.

So what has been utmost on out minds this year as we’ve been sharing our thoughts with friends across the fastest growing social networking site worldwide? Farmville. Yes, you heard me right, Farmville. This year we’ve been mostly growing crops.

Facebook applications overall was the most popular topic to witter on about on Facebook, with Farmville ruling and Farm Town coming in at a close second. In fact Facebook says that the word ‘farm’ was huge on Facebook in 2009.

What happens when you give human beings internet access and a means to connect with other individuals around the globe? We grow pixelated parsnips and rear cows in the cloud.

The next big trending topic on Facebook this year was the phrase FML. If you don’t know what this means then you are clearly a balanced and non self-obsessed individual you doesn’t like to update their status with self-pitying three letter acronyms.

FML means ‘F*** My Life’ and in case you were wondering, according to the popularity of this slang,  Facebookers seemed most frustrated in May and November.

From playing with farm animals to self-obsession it seems as if the dreaded Swine Flu or H1N1 virus had us worried, enthralled or simply curious. And you know how governments in general didn’t like the unattractive ‘swine’ tag and were trying to stee people in the H1N1 direction? It worked! By September we were priggish, not piggish, in our efforts to name check the virus correctly.

The fourth overall trend on Facebook in 2009 was celebrity deaths. Globally the deaths of both Michael Jackson and Patrick Swayze chimed a chord with most social networkers.

The list goes on but coming in at fifth and sixth on the Facebook status radar were family and movies, showing that we still have a healthy tolerance for one and enduring love of the other.

By Marie Boran

via Gadgetrepublic.com