With 2012 coming to a close, it’s that time of the year again when major tech companies share their year in review with us. With Facebook, Twitter and Google, these retrospectives are always fascinating because they give a tremendous amount of insight into what millions of Internet users around the world are searching for, what they’re talking about, and what events, people and topics are grabbing their attention.
Google reveals its most popular searches and trending topics, providing an in-depth look at searches by country, while Facebook reveals the trending topics discussed on the social network in the US. Twitter goes all out with the most popular tweets, topics, events and more.
Every year Google reveals its Zeitgeist, and 2012’s search trends are just as fascinating as ever. Drilling down in 1.27 trillion searches in 146 languages, Google reveals what our most popular searches are. You can view worldwide trends or the most popular searches by country, with over 50 countries on the list.
On the worldwide list, the most popular search term is ‘Whitney Houston‘, but when it comes to images, One Direction makes it to the top of the list. The most searched for event is Hurricane Sandy, while Hunger Games makes it to the top of the movie list.
To find out more about Google’s trending topics and most popular searches, check out their video below:
Check out the complete lists here.
Twitter’s ‘This Year on Twitter‘ highlights some of the biggest moments the social network witnessed in 2012. The retrospect is divided into 6 sections, and the most popular topics definitely show a significant overlap with Facebook users’ interests.
Golden Tweets are the year’s top tweets – they generated the most retweets for the year. There’s also a few honorable mentions thrown in the mix. The most popular tweet of 2012 comes to us courtesy of US President Barack Obama. Before even giving his victory speech, Obama took to Twitter to mark his win. The three word tweet, “Four more years“, received over 800,000 retweets and over 300,000 favorites.
“signifies the biggest conversations of the year” – in other words – what events got the most buzz on Twitter in 2012? The Summer Olympics top the list with over 150 million tweets, with tweets during the closing ceremony coming in at a staggering 116,000+ tweets per minute.
Only on Twitter chronicles some of the coolest moments shared via Twitter – including a picture tweeted by astronaut Sunita Williams showing Hurricane Sandy from outer space.
Trends shows the most popular topics, divided into several different categories including politics (with #tcot topping the list), countries (Syria gets the most mentions) and even just hashtags (#nowplaying appears to be the most popular).
New Voices lists some of the biggest names to join Twitter in 2012. The diverse list includes Steve Carrell, Pope Benedict and Nicolas Sarkozy.
You can also check out Your year on Twitter thanks to Vizify. You’ll find out what your ‘Golden Tweet‘ is, in other words the one tweet that received the most retweets, and your ‘Golden Follower’ – the person who mentions you the most. You can also find out your most popular topics. The page is a great way to rediscover some of your older tweets you might have forgotten about.
Facebook’s Year in Review reveals some of the biggest trends for 2012 – with all the trending movies, events, songs, check-ins, memes and much more for the year in the US. Unsurprisingly, the US presidential elections make it to the top of the events list, while New York’s Times Square is the most popular check-in. Trending public figures shows a healthy mix of politicians (Obama, Romney, Ryan and more), celebrities (One Direction, Madonna) and athletes (Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin).
To see the full list, click here.
Not only did Facebook share the highlights of its own year, its also offering users an easy way to see their own year in review. Just go to Facebook.com/yearinreview, and you should be able to see how many friends you added in 2012, how many pages you liked, as well as displaying your top 20 moments for the year. We’re not exactly sure how Facebook determines the top 20 though.
Have you seen any other interesting retrospectives for 2012? Let us know about them in the comments.