What people couldn't stop talking about on Facebook this year

Beyoncé took the number one spot on the top 10 most-mentioned entertainers on Facebook in the United States. (AFP)

Beyoncé took the number one spot on the top 10 most-mentioned entertainers on Facebook in the United States. (AFP)

Popular social networking site Facebook has released its year in review, which includes top 10 lists of the most popular topics that moved, shocked and entertained its users this year. Here are a few highlights:

Musician and producer Pharrell Williams’s smash hit Happy was the most mentioned song on Facebook and he is also listed as the second most- talked-about entertainer in the United States.

The music video for last year’s chart-topping single he wrote and recorded for the film Despicable Me 2 went viral this year when fans uploaded videos of themselves dancing and singing to it.

It is probably the most popular music video since Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) in 2009, which sparked similar viral responses.

“We put out the [Happy] video on November 21st” [last year]; all of a sudden, boom!” said Williams during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

“And we were like: ‘What’s happening? People are putting up their own videos.’ It was like no longer my song.”

In a July article, the Guardian reported that Happy had become only the fourth single to reach triple platinum status in 20 years and had clocked up 1.8-million in sales.

Gennaro Castaldo, from BPI (a music industry body), said: “Happy is not only one of the most successful multiplatinum recordings of all time, it has taken on near-iconic status and has helped to propel Williams to global superstardom.”

Beyoncé took the number one spot on the top 10 most-mentioned entertainers on Facebook in the United States.
The singer gave fans a lot to talk about this year – from her self-titled album to the infamous incident at the Met Gala after-party in New York March when she and her rapper husband, Jay-Z, and her sister, Solange, sent the internet into overdrive after security footage was leaked showing Solange physically attacking Jay-Z in a hotel lift.

The incident spawned endless memes and wild speculation, forcing the three to release a joint statement saying that Jay–Z and Solange “have apologised to each other and “have moved forward as a united family”.

In August, Beyoncé was honoured with the prestigious MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award at the MTV Video Music awards, where she performed a medley of songs from her album Beyoncé.

She gave the public more to gush about on social networks when she gave an acceptance speech with her husband and two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy by her side on the stage.

Nicki Minaj takes third slot on the list, Taylor Swift is fourth and Jimmy Fallon fifth.

Reality star Kim Kardashian, who attempted to bring the internet to its knees with her nude photos for Paper magazine, took the number 10 spot. Her name popped up on the Facebook review lists in 2012 and has done so every year since then.

HBO’s fantasy drama series Game of Thrones, based on George RR Martin’s book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, unsurprisingly took the number one spot.

According to Variety magazine, it increased its audience for three consecutive seasons, with ratings of 6.6-million viewers during its fourth-season premiere. This made it the most watched show on HBO since the finale of the Sopranos, which attracted 11.9-million viewers in 2007, according to Variety reports.

According to a Forbes magazine article, “Game of Thrones Psychology: 10 Reasons We’re So Hooked”, people enjoy the show because it gives the brain a bit of a workout with its “wry humour, lyrical dialogues and complicated moral questions”. Another reason this show keeps appearing on Facebook timelines is because it’s unpredictable. And no character is above death.

Orange Is the New Black, unlike Game of Thrones, was not shown on TV – not in the conventional way anyway – but it was the second most mentioned TV show on Facebook.

It premiered on the internet on Netflix last year. It is a comedy series based on the book Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, by Piper Kerman. The series follows the lives of women who are imprisoned in the US. The show’s success has shown the possibilities of digital TV and that there is a market ready to consume entertainment, which doesn’t need satellite TV.

According to the Huffington Post, “the rise of these new technologies and services, along with changing viewing habits, have prompted the legacy TV networks to offer online-only subscriptions”. Netflix is available in countries such as the US, Canada, Denmark and France but not in South Africa. From March next year Australia and New Zealand will be able to stream shows on Netflix.

TV show the Walking Dead is at number three of the most mentioned TV shows, the Big Bang Theory is at four and Downton Abbey is at five.

See the full lists here.

Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi is the Mail & Guardian's arts, culture and entertainment content producer. She started her career in magazines, before joining the Mail & Guardian team in 2014. She is an entertainer at heart. Read more from Katlego Mkhwanazi

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