Tech + Health

12.09.13

Pope Francis Beats Royal Baby on Facebook in 2013

What do Pope Francis, the royal baby, and Miley Cyrus have in common? All were named as the most-talked about people or events in 2013 by Facebook! See the full list.

In an announcement that’s surely left the royal family reeling, Pope Francis was revealed this morning to be Facebook’s No. 1 most talked about person (or event) in 2013. The royal baby crawled in at a disappointing third, bested by the Holy Father and the second most popular term on the social network: “Election.”

“Conversations happening all over Facebook offer a unique snapshot of the world, and this year was no different,” Facebook said in an email announcing its annual Year in Review. “Every day, people post about the topics and milestones that are important to them—everything from announcing an engagement, to discussing breaking news, or even celebrating a favorite athlete or sports team.”

By analyzing the many posts that were posted to Facebook in 2013, the company was able to reveal the year’s top trends. 

Video screenshot

2013 Most Popular People and Events on Facebook

Following Pope Francis, “Election,” and the royal baby, Facebook users worldwide talked most about the deadly Typhoon Haiyan that tore through the Phillipines last month; Margaret Thatcher, who died in April at age 87; and the Harlem Shake, the Internet meme that won our hearts and then destroyed our souls. Following that: Miley Cyrus, the Boston Marathon, the Tour de France, and the recently departed Nelson Mandela (of whom 55 million people had over 115 million interactions on Facebook related to his passing, the company says).

In the U.S., the Super Bowl landed atop the most-talked about list for 2013, followed closely by the government shutdown, the Boston Marathon, and the crisis in Syria. Also on that list: George Zimmerman, the presidential inauguration, the NBA Finals, Kim Kardashian, James Gandolfini, and an exciting meteor sighting.

The Internet giant also broke down most talked about things by topic in 2013, revealing Facebook users’ most talked-about sporting event (the Super Bowl), movie (The Conjuring), and TV show (Scandal). Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky,’ which went 3x platinum in the U.S. and was nominated for two Grammy awards, was named the year’s most popular song.

As for America’s most popular places, which excludes transportation hubs and is tracked by Facebook users’ check-ins, California’s Disneyland took back the No. 1 spot from New York City’s Times Square. Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium, San Francisco’s AT&T Park, and Arlington, Texas’s Rangers Ballpark followed closely behind.

See the full 2013 Year in Review list on Facebook, and see your own personal Year in Review, which identifies your 20 biggest moments, at facebook.com/yearinreview.