Facebook has been around for ten years now – open to the general public for eight – and it’s already difficult to imagine a world without it. How would we know what was important to us without having our timelines inundated with opinions, articles, and targeted advertising?
Conveniently, a Facebook review 2014 has been set-up to remind us what we obsessed over throughout this year.
The FIFA World Cup was not only the most discussed event this year, but (according to Facebook) drove more conversation than any event in history. That’s quite an achievement for a spectacle that lasted just one month.
But let’s not forget the excitement of the 2013/14 Barclay’s Premier League season. In the UK, the down-to-the-wire title race placed fourth in the run down of trending topics. That’s ahead of such momentous events as the conflict in Gaza, Ebola, and the First World War Centenary. Louis Van Gaal and the Champions League Final also placed in the top ten. It’s good to know our priorities retain the appropriate perspective.
Topping the list is the Scottish Referendum. The Yes Scotland campaign mounted a close contest, but fell short at the last.
What impact did Facebook have? Well, whether you were for or against Scottish independence, your feed no doubt provided you what you were looking for. Yes, not only is advertising geared to your interests, recommended articles are generally in line with yours and your friends’ political stance. Those recommendations aren’t there to open minds – they exist to garner clicks. So, if anything, Facebook helped entrench the already firmly held opinions.
So too with other politics. Israelis and Jews saw mainly the pro-Israel reports during the Gaza conflict, and vice versa with Muslims. Compare your search results in incognito with what you usually get. You might be surprised at the difference.
3. Facebook fights Ebola
In November 2014, Mark Zuckerberg committed himself to the fight against Ebola. Not only did he give $25 million of his own money towards relief efforts, but he also tried to enlist the help of the 1.3 billion Facebook users. For a week, users could expect to see a box informing you that you could stop the disease – by donating money.
While causes are not new to Facebook, it’s interesting to see one so specific being indiscriminately promoted]. Will we see more of that in the future? Will it always be neutral or uncontested causes?
Beyoncé has had a good 2014. After releasing her surprise fifth album in December last year – an album that received rave reviews despite being experimental and sometimes differing markedly from her previous work – she has become even more influential as an artist, feminist,and role model. She also topped the Forbes Celebrity 100 list for the first time, and became the highest-earning black musician in history.
Other celebrities that ruled 2014 Facebook varied greatly, including Taylor Swift (4th), Jimmy Fallon (5th), and Kim Kardashian (10th).
5. TV and movies
2014 saw some great shows come to our screens. While Game of Thrones still tops Facebook’s TV show listing, and the rest of the top 10 is dominated mainly by old favourites, newcomers Orange is the New Black (okay, technically it dates back to 2013, but this has been its big year, receiving 12 Emmy nominations) and True Detective have imposed their relevance. Not surprising, seeing as they’ve perhaps set a precedent for future genre quaking shows.
Other lists include the most important games, ice bucket challenge videos, and ten people we lost.
One more year end feature that may interest you is the highlights package of your own Facebook year. It’s difficult to find on your own, so here is the link to the customisable Facebook review 2014 : https://www.facebook.com/yearinreview.