Facebook announced the top 15 status trends of 2009 at the end of last year and while there were quite a few obvious inclusions in the list, there were also some interesting ones. The study was based on the top trending words Facebook people used in their status updates. Facebook labelled it ‘memology’, the study of how “memes”, or new ideas and trends, are spreading on Facebook.
Status updates on Facebook help people understand their friends and the people around them–how they’re feeling, what they’re doing and what they’re thinking. In the United States alone, people on Facebook are sharing hundreds of millions of words every day, thousands per second, in status updates. When taken as a whole, these words offer a unique barometer into the issues, world events and thoughts that are connecting people.
While you would have expected the usual suspects in ‘family’, ‘I’, ‘movies’, ‘sport’ and ‘religion’ to be in there—stock-standard material for updates, right? It is also no surprise, after its boom year, that social media terms ranked right up there either. The one that sticks out for me is ‘yard’ at 13. I mean, where has this come from?
Facebook blogged, “Have all the hipsters turned to yard work as the latest fad? Probably not. A more likely explanation is that hipsters’ moms and dads are also on Facebook, and these folks have yards that require some tending”.
Mums and dads talking about their yards? Yeah right, I didn’t buy it for one second. So I did a bit of research and it seems I’m not alone in my scepticism. Howard Yeend at puremango.co.uk believes that it’s some kind of ploy by Facebook to lure “older people” to join up and buy apps.
“A cynic might suggest that facebook is trying to make themselves look more appealing to the more mature adult population who will be happy to spend their cash in a facebook appstore which I have no doubt is on the horizon for FB,” he says.
Hmmm? Interesting idea.
Another theory is that Farmville is to blame. Perhaps people are simply talking about their Farmville yard? Of the three theories, I’m going to go with this one. Though, if anyone has any other ideas, please share.
Anyway, it made for an interesting read and the by-month graphs are pretty sweet also. Notice the spike in FML (F**K MY LIFE) during exam period?