Facebook have revealed the Top 40 stories which have been posted and shared by American users throughout 2011.
Family or parenting issues are particularly popular posts whilst other unsurprising favourites are postings on videos that become web hits after going “viral”.
As the post says itself the stories range from cute and cuddly to political and thought provoking.
The top link was the interactive slider of comparative images produced by the New York Times which showed before and after images of the devastating Japanese Tsunami in March. It was shared by more than 600,000 times on Facebook.
The second most popular link discussed why parents should listen to school’s opinions on their children and was titled “What teachers really want to tell parents” It was shared almost 586,000 times.
Another article advising parents not to “dress your girls like tramps” was also a huge online draw, and it seems the US must be a superstitious bunch as an article about everyone’s star signs being out by a month was the third most popular.
Experts noted that the top 40 stories were all compiled from just six worldwide news outlets.
Yahoo had the most with 12 stories; CNN was next with 10, followed by The New York Times and The Huffington Post both with 7 while the Washington Post had 3. All outlets were American-based suggesting that audiences rarely look to other countries when it comes to absorbing news and popular content.
In terms of looking at human behaviour and what draws people in online, the Top 40 gives a clear indication that individuals are mostly concerned about their lives and what directly affects them.
No real surprise there but when it comes to the Tsunami pictures coming out top it just goes to show the impact a global disaster – even one on another continent will have on the way an online audience consume media. Imagery of a horrific event thousands of miles away can be absorbed from the safety of the sitting room allowing people to gawk online without fear of interruption.
It will be interesting to see if Facebook releases the Top 40 UK stories for 2o11 and explore how it compares to the US. I for one remember looking through the striking Before and After pictures and saying a silent thank you that it wasn’t happening here.
The full Top 40 are listed below but looking at the results the following people should start advertising on the site in the US now to tap into the American Market.
A) Russell Grant – he’s having a bit of a comeback with ‘Strictly’ and the Americans obviously rate a good astrologer.
B) Jo Frost Super Nanny – She’s already been on US TV and it seems they spend a lot of time talking about their children online.
C) Crocodile Dundee – The number 9 story is about a giant croc caught in the Philippines and Paul Hogan hasn’t had a hit movie since the eighties.
The Top 40 for 2011
1. Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami (New York Times)
3. No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed (CNN)
5. (video) – Father Daughter Dance Medley (Yahoo)
10. New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus The 13th Sign? (The Huffington Post)
11. Parents keep child’s gender under wraps (Yahoo)
12. How to Talk to Little Girls (The Huffington Post)
13. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich (New York Times)
14. Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior (Wall Street Journal)
15. (video) – Twin Baby Boys Have A Conversation! (Yahoo)
16. Man robs bank to get medical care in jail (Yahoo)
17. Why You’re Not Married (The Huffington Post)
18. A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs (New York Times)
19. Ryan Dunn Dead: ‘Jackass’ Star Dies In Car Crash (The Huffington Post)
21. Notes From a Dragon Mom (New York Times)
22. A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy” (The Huffington Post)
23. Obama’s and Bush’s effects on the deficit in one graph (Washington Post)
24. Penn State, my final loss of faith (Washington Post)
25. Golden-Voiced Homeless Man Captivates Internet (Yahoo)
26. The most typical face on the planet (Yahoo)
28. Permissive parents: Curb your brats (CNN)
30. (video) – Laughing Baby Loves Ripping Paper! (Yahoo)
31. Epic Cover Letter: How To Get Hired For Your Dream Job (PICTURE) (The Huffington Post)
32. New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet (Washington Post)
33. Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know (Yahoo)
34. The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death (The Huffington Post)
35. (photo gallery) – ‘Where Children Sleep’ (New York Times)
37. Steve Jobs, Apple founder, dies (CNN)
39. Grant Hill’s Response to Jalen Rose (New York Times)
40. Steve Jobs’s Patents (New York Times)