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Social media 2013 – a year in review

Written by Sylwia | 24-Dec-2013 12:09:00

It’s the time of year when we not only look at the digital trends forecasted for the coming year but also when we reflect on key events that took place in 2013 and how social media responded. Social networks create end of year round ups where they analyse the topics that were most discussed over the past 12 months. Here we look at a few of them.


Every year Facebook Stories reviews the topics, events and places that were most popular among users of the social networking site in the past year. According to the recent Facebook announcement, the global event that came out top was adding a relationship, getting married or engaged followed by travelling and moving house.   

Globally, the most talked about topic was Pope Francis who became the first non-European Pope in 1,200 years when he was elected in March 2013, while in the UK Andy Murray was the most popular topic which isn’t surprising given his Wimbledon victory in July. ‘Margaret Thatcher’, ‘UEFA Champions League Final’, ‘Prince George’ and Sir Alex Ferguson were also top trending subjects in the UK. 

Over on this page you can also preview your own Facebook history of 2013 or most talked about topics in your area.



The Year on Twitter shows the site’s top Tweets from 2013 which have been divided into categories: #news, #entertainment, #sports, #showcase and #2013, highlighting month-by-month events and users’ responses. The #2013 category covers a range of topics from the announcement of the new Pope in March, which resulted in 130,000 Tweets per minute, to the birth of the Royal Baby in July, which saw a global conversation of more than two million Tweets in the hours after the news was broadcasted on Twitter.

Sporting events remain popular and in February the Super Bowl trended with 24.1 million #SB47 Tweets. The review also highlighted ‘Golden Tweets’ which were the most retweeted Tweets in 2013. Glee star Lea Michele’s tribute following the death of co-star and partner Corey Monteith was shared 406,266 times by fans who mourned with her while the announcement of the death of actor Paul Walker in November was retweeted 400,367 times.  



Grab the embed code for the 'What Does 2013 say?' YouTube video here: 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/H7jtC8vjXw8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> 

The most watched clip on YouTube in 2013 was the novelty song The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?), which notched up 256 million views.  The video for the intentionally bad song, created by the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, became a hit when it was released as a joke in September. It’s still a way behind last year’s viral sensation Gangnam Style which was the first video on YouTube to clock up more than a billion views.  In the UK, the comic video, entitled How Animals Eat their Food was the most popular with 88 million views followed by the My Wedding Song video featuring Tom Fletcher from McFly’s wedding speech which saw 11 million views. 



The photo sharing social network site Instagram has over 150 million users who upload a total of 55 million photos every day. The hashtag #selfie, first used on Instagram in January 2011, has now been used 57 million times and selfie was named as the word of the year by Oxford Dictionary which defines it as: “a photo one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded on to a social media website.”  The Guardian recently compiled a list of the best and worst selfies of 2013 with the top photo awarded to astronaut Luca Parmitano for the selfie he took while on a spacewalk. You can also find out more about top instagrammed locations of 2013 from this recent data released by the service. 

Do you know of any other social media platforms publishing trends and highlights from 2013? Let us know!