Facebook has released its Memeology 2011 review looking back at the year's hottest trends on the world's largest social network.
"Memology takes the pulse of this global community by comparing this year's status updates to last year's, unearthing the most popular topics and cultural trends - or memes - emerging on Facebook," explains Facebook data scientist Jonathan Chang in a post on the Facebook Blog.
As Facebook's usership soared to over 800 million this year, the rate at which breaking news spread across the network also increased. The company has released data on the news that spread the fastest across the site's global population. A list of the top 10 hottest topics includes extreme weather, the deaths of three public figures, a royal wedding, the outcome of a huge sporting event and more. According to Chang's post, the most-talked about topic on Facebook in 2011 (see slideshow to find out what it was) accounted for "almost 10 percent of all status updates in English" on May 1.
Interestingly, most of these topics were also among the most popular status updates posted by U.S. users. However, the list diverges quite a bit from Facebook's list of the top news links shared on the social network in 2011. In fact, of the 40 most-shared stories on Facebook in the past year, only two fall into categories on Facebook's list of the top memes of the year (the death of Steve Jobs and the death of Osama bin Laden). Likewise, only two of Twitter's most popular hashtags of the year coincide with Facebook's top memes (Charlie Sheen and the Super Bowl.)
Check out our slideshow (below) to see the 7 global topics that spiked fastest in popularity on Facebook over the course of this year. Then, visit's Facebook's Memeology 2011 page to view the year's top status updates from various countries and the fastest growing pages around the world.
For more year-end reviews, take a look at Twitter's top stories and hashtags from 2011, Yahoo's 10 most-searched terms, as well as the 9 most popular gadgets on Bing. You can also check out Facebook's list of 2010's hottest status updates (here).