When you look back at 2018, what stands out the most? Politics, movements, creativity, pop culture?
What were you talking about in 2018? We all know Facebook isn’t short of insights and data, so the platform pooled its data to analyse 3 key categories from 1 Jan 2018 to 11 Nov 2018; Issues That Matter, Global Moments, and Prominent Figures With An Impact. All set out to help us reflect on another year gone by and how we connected with our communities across the globe on Facebook.
So first things first…
How Did They Do it?
As we all know, research is only as strong as the methodology that supports it. Therefore Facebook’s annual aspiration to showcase the top moments of the year started with volume. But that volume had to be drilled down to develop a list of top keywords ranked by volume AND mentioned in a single day on Facebook between the dates mentioned above. Simply put:
“To identify which topics were unique to 2018, we compared these keywords to the previous year’s maximum single-day volume.”
This enables top keywords such as Mother’s Day and Halloween, high on the list to not appear repeatedly at the top of the list. So… up first:
Issues That Matter
International Women’s Day made the top spot for the second year in a row. March 8 was the most prominent and talked-about moment of the year. However, unlike the previous years, 2018 was far more about the day itself. Instead, it was a day of activism and strength centred on a global discussion between both men and women surrounding topics of equality, empowerment, and diversity, marked by 2018s global themes of ‘The Time Is Now’, ‘Press For Progress’ and more.
Second up was sadly sparked by tragedy. The young survivors of the Parkland High School shooting in Florida started the March for Our Lives movement on 18 February. This event drew upon the power of voice, conversation, and community, to take action around the world, with over 1 million people the following month showing interest in attending a Facebook Event and raising upwards of $2.5 million through Facebook fundraising.
And rounding off the Top Three ‘Issues That Matter’ Civic Engagement i.e. voting and politics that are in no way ‘new’ to social media. This topic, the most recent of the three, marks the heated debates surrounding both the Brazilian Presidential Election on 7 October and the following US Midterm Elections on 6 November. Showcasing now, more than ever the power of having a voice and what truly divides us.
That said, the things that divide us weren’t able to keep us from celebrating together the next category that leans a bit more heavily on sports, and dips into where pop culture meets a fairytale.
Held every four years, the global moment that brought us altogether started with a football (soccer ball for all of our western friends) in the 2018 World Cup. More than 383 million soccer fans from across the globe cheered on their favourite teams with 2.3 billion posts, comments, reactions, and shares – with France’s World Cup victory on July 15 and England’s Semi-Final match against Croatia on July 11 being two of the biggest conversations of the year!
I’d be lying if I said American Football didn’t make its way into all of our hearts this year as well! Super Bowl 52 marked a HUGE victory for the Philadelphia Eagles as they secured their FIRST Super Bowl win over the favoured New England Patriots on February 4. And the incomplete ‘Hail Mary’ pass that ended the game? 62 million people turned to Facebook to discuss that, and JT’s halftime tribute to Prince.
And as if we all could forget the magical, much-anticipated moment when Suits’ own Rachel Zane, now Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle married Prince Harry on May 19th, 2018. 42 million people took to Facebook to post about the Royal Wedding, chatting about the ceremony, the newlyweds, and the ‘pomp’ and the circumstances surrounding it. I mean come on… people around the world and its various time zones were awake in anticipation… what’s NOT to talk about?!
But on a more serious note… 2018 equally saw the honouring of prominent figures and their global impact.
Prominent Figures With An Impact
Two key messages surrounded prominent figures of the past:
And although Nelson Mandella and his impact is a tough act to follow, the world is determined to keep his legacy and those lost in 2018 alive. Others honoured this year on Facebook include music icons Aretha Franklin, Avicii, and Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, scientific mastermind, Stephen Hawking, world-renowned storytellers like Anthony Bourdain and Hollywood stars like Burt Reynolds.
So whether you joined in these conversations or not, there is no denying that 2018 was an interesting year, with a large portion of the conversation surround change, the power of voice and community. And this is something we might want to take note of going forward because the ethical revolution seems to have JUST begun!
And I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly looking forward to 2019!
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