Most Talked About Topics on Facebook in 2013 by Count




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The data is in. Using some magical mathematical formula, Facebook has figured out the most talked about topics on the social networking site in 2013, and the big winner globally is Pope Francis. Apparently people just couldn’t enough of the new pontiff’s talk about caring for the poor and how gay marriage might not be the worst thing in the universe.
Interestingly, though, Pope Francis was not the hottest topic of Facebook conversation in any one of the biggest Facebook-using countries. Instead, when you go country by country, there was almost always something of bigger local importance that supplanted the pope.
So what were the hottest topics on Facebook around the globe? Let’s take a look, shall we?

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Argentina: La Plata
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If there was one country on earth in which you would have expected Pope Francis to take the top spot, it’s Argentina. After all, the man is from Argentina. He’s the first Argentinian pope, and the country is full of Catholics.
However, it turns out “La Plata” was the most common Facebook term this year. So what is it?
Well, if you Google it, you’ll discover “La Plata” is the capital city of the region of Buenos Aries. However, people probably weren’t talking about the city itself but the flooding and that took place there back in April. It claimed the lives of at least 80 people, but quite possibly as much as 220.
But #2 was the pope, right? Wrong. Justin Bieber was #2. The pope was #3.

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Australia: Vote
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Here’s one that makes sense. On September 7, Australia held a federal election to determine the makeup of the 44th Parliament of Australia, so that’s why “vote” took the top spot.
I’m sure you already know who won the election, since you’re so up on international affairs. But just in case it slipped your mind, the incumbent Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Labor party were defeated handily by new Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Liberal party.
So what where Aussies talking about when they weren’t talking politics this year? Princess Kate, of course. Then Cricket.

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Brazil: Manifestacoes
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In case you haven’t heard, this past summer Brazilians took to the streets of every major city to protest…well, just about everything. It all started with protesters calling for completely free public transportation. But then other causes joined in, protesting everything from education spending, healthcare spending, the World Cup, and—eventually—the police brutality inflicted on demonstrators.
In any case, this kind of catch-all protest/uprising has a name in Brazil. It’s manifestacoes. So there you go.
Don’t worry, though. Those party-loving Brazilians weren’t all serious this year. The #2 talked about topic on Facebook in Brazil was Carnaval, and #3 was Neymar, the soccer player.

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Canada: Maple Leafs
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When taking a guess as to what Canadians are talking about on social media, hockey is always a solid choice. However, this year I was sure the #1 topic of Facebook conversation was Rob Ford—you know, the crack-smoking mayor of Canada’s biggest city.
But no, it was hockey. More specifically, it was the Maple Leafs. The most valuable franchise in the NHL made the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons, so when they saw postseason action in 2013 people went nuts.
Here’s the crazy thing, though. After the Maple Leafs it’s Harlem Shake, then Miley Cyrus Twerk, then Boston Marathon, and only then Rob Ford.
What??

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Germany: FC Bayern
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would have guessed the biggest Facebook topic in Germany this year was “Champions League Final.”
Well, I was close. The actual #1 topic was FC Bayern, the team that won the all-German final of the most prestigious club soccer competition in the world.
After FC Bayern, the most common thing people were talking about were the floods that ravaged central Europe in May and June. Then it was Borussia Dortmund, the other half of the all-German Champions League Final.

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France: PSG
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The results from France are a little surprising, but I guess they speak to the people who use Facebook most over there.
At number one was PSG, by which people meant the soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, which won the French league championship in 2013. That isn’t surprising. What was surprising was the #2 topic on the list: GTAV.
Yes, that’s right. In 2013, French Facebook users were totally pumped about the arrival of Grand Theft Auto V. Then, way down at #7 and #9 were gay marriage and Pope Francis, respectively.
So much for French culture, amiright?

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Hong Kong: Typhoon
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This one is hardly surprising. In 2013, the Facebook users of Hong Kong were talking about typhoons a lot. First there was Typhoon Usagi in September. It was the strongest typhoon to hit Hong Kong in years, and it caused $4.33 billion in damage while killing 35 people. Then there was Typhoon Haiyan which absolutely devastated the relatively nearby Philippines, killing over 6,000 and causing nearly $6 billion in damage.
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India: Narendra Modi
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The #1 Facebook topic in India in 2013 was Narendra Modi. He is the current Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat and a candidate for Prime Minister in the upcoming 2014 federal elections.
After Modi it was Sachin Tendulkar (the Michael Jordan of cricket) and then the iPhone 5s.

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Italy: Lampedusa
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On October 3, a 66-foot boat carrying 500—yes, 500—migrants from Africa to the Italian island of Lampedusa experienced engine trouble and sank a quarter mile off the coast. While 155 people were rescued, at least 359 perished, making it one of the worst maritime disasters in European history.
This tragedy put a spotlight in Europe’s immigration problem: it was reported that every person on board that boat paid $3,000 to the Libyan, Somali, and Sudanese migrant trafficking group who ran it. Then it was reported that women who could pay were raped, and the men who couldn’t pay were tortured.
As for that guy’s sign, it reads “How many unknown tombs in Lampedusa?” The “No Bossi-Fini” part then refers to a secret immigration deportation agreement between Italy and and Libya.
Yeah, sorry to bum you out. If it makes you feel any better, the #3 Facebook topic in Italy Mario Balotelli (the wacky soccer player), while #4 was “Royal Baby.”

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Mexico: Buen Fin
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Did you know Mexico had their own version of Black Friday? Well, they do. Except it’s not just one day, but an entire weekend. And, as you probably have guessed, it’s called “Buen Fin.”
So that was the #1 Facebook topic south of the border this year. Their #2? It was the phrase “Ola K Ase,” which is a goofy way of spelling “Hola que hace,” which means “Hey what’s up?” It was the number one internet meme in Mexico this year.

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Poland: Harlem Shake
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Yes, Poland always loves a good pope, so Francis was #3 on Facebook this year. However, the only thing they love more than the pope is a good viral video dance craze.
Yep, Harlem Shake was #1. Then “twerk” was #8 and “what does the fox say” was #10.

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Singapore: F1
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In Singapore in 2013, the biggest thing people were talking about on Facebook was the city-state’s #1 sporting event: the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix. It’s the only time Singapore gets on the world sporting stage, so to them it’s a pretty huge deal.
(Meanwhile, do you even know when and where the American F1 event took place?)

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Spain: Real Madrid
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You might have thought Barcelona would be the #1 topic in Spain since they’re the ones who won the league championship this year. But no, it’s Real Madrid.
This probably had something to do with the fact that Madrid is the country’s biggest city and the fact that they made a huge acquisition this year, bringing in Welshman Gareth Bale.
However, the #2 is Spain was Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona—which was #3.

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United Kingdom: Andy Murray
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This one surprised me. I thought for sure “Royal Baby” would take the top spot in the UK. Instead it was Andy Murray, who became the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936. Apparently, that was kind of a huge deal over there.
As for the Royal Baby, he wasn’t even #2 or #3. Former PM Margaret Thatcher (who died) and “UEFA Champions League Final” took the next two spots, and “Prince George” fell to #4.
After Prince G it was Sir Alex Ferguson, Call of Duty: Ghosts, cricket, X-Factor, the ‘Bedroom Tax,’ and Grand Theft Auto 5.

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USA: Super Bowl
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The #1 topic in the good old USA? The Super Bowl, obviously. When the lights went out, people went nuts on social media.
After that, not unexpectedly, came “government shutdown” at #2 and “Boston Marathon” at #3.
However, #4, “Syria Crisis,” was a bit surprising. Obviously, that is a big deal, but I’m surprised it beat “Harlem Shake” at #5, “Pope Francis” at #5, “George Zimmerman” at #7, “Royal Baby” at #8, “Nelson Mandela” at #9, and “Presidential Inauguration” at #10.
See anything missing? Yep, there’s no “Miley Cyrus” and no “twerk.”

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