A Look Back at 2012

2012 Year in Review
Christmas is almost here and the year is about to close. How did the time fly by so quickly? As the year draws to a close, the 3 biggest media platforms in the world (here’s looking at you Google, Twitter, and Facebook) have released their 2012 retrospective of what people were searching, reading, sharing, and trending throughout the year. Below, I take a look at each list.

Year in Review: Google Zeitgeist 2012

Google Zeitgeist 2012 lists the Top 10 Searches, Images, Athletes, Events, People, Feature Films, TV Shows, Performing Artists, Consumer Electronics, Airlines, and Google+ Hashtags.

To be expected, Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Olympics, and the presidential debate were included in the list of top searched events. A few surprises on the list (at least for me): One Direction tops the list of trending images; John Carter is included in the Feature Films list (who remembers that movie?!).

As for the Top 10 Searches, Google’s year in review includes:

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Gangnam Style
  3. Hurricane Sandy
  4. iPad 3
  5. Diablo 3
  6. Kate Middleton
  7. Olympics 2012
  8. Amanda Todd
  9. Michael Clarke Duncan
  10. BBB12

To see what was included in the other Top 10 categories, check out the full Google Zeitgeist for 2012.

Year in Review: Twitter

With over 500 million users worldwide, Twitter’s look back at 2012 reveals what sparked the most activity in the Twitterverse. This includes events, such as the presidential debate, sports events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl, and Hurricane Sandy. In this aspect, there’s some overlap with the top searches compiled by Google.

Twitter’s review of 2012 is divided into “Golden Tweets” (Tweets that generated the most Retweets); “Pulse of the Planet” (events that generated a lot of Tweets and Retweets); “Only on Twitter” (Tweets that organically became viral on the platform); “Trends” (self-explanatory: what topics captured the attention of the Twitterverse); and “New Voices” (high-profile people who joined Twitter in 2012, like the Pope).

Twitter’s look at 2012 is really well designed and visually appealing. You can also take a look back at your 2012 on Twitter to see what your Golden Tweet was and who was your Golden Follower.

Year in Review: Facebook

Not to be left behind, Facebook also released their year in review for 2012. Unlike Google and Twitter, Facebook split their 2012 retrospective into two sections–one for US trends and the other for worldwide ones. Also, to emphasize a more personal, human look back a 2012, Facebook calls their top moments “stories”.

Unlike Google’s and Twitter’s lists, Facebook’s takes on a more multimedia approach that includes top memes and check-ins; but there are also the same categories found in the others, such as movies and events. With over a billion followers around the world, it’s also interesting to see what was trending across other countries and how that differed from the US. Like Twitter, you can also take a look back at 2012 through the lens of your Facebook Timeline.

Year in Review: So Many Lists

Is it necessary to have so many lists of what was trending across Google, Twitter, and Facebook this past year? Probably not. Especially when there’s quite a bit of overlap in topics and trends across all these platforms (events, movies, etc.). But, it’s still an interesting look back at the year. Some of these trends seem to have happened so long ago, while others are still going strong. 2012 has been an eventful year. Here’s hoping that 2013 will be a better, brighter one.

Image courtesy of Facebook

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