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Facebook’s year in review: We went crazy for football, Pope Francis, and Disneyland in 2013

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What do Disneyland, getting into a relationship, and giraffes have in common? They all topped the year-end list Facebook created looking at what was popular on the social network in 2013. Here are some of the most interesting chart-toppers this year. 

In the U.S., the Superbowl dominated the conversation

The biggest professional football game of the year was also the most talked-about topic for Americans, beating out the government shutdown and the Boston marathon. Facebook broke down which topics were popular by country, and the Superbowl didn’t make the list anywhere else in the world. In Germany, they talked about  “football,” a.k.a. soccer, a.k.a. WHO CARES (just kidding, I don’t care about either version of football, please don’t hate me). 

Worldwide, Pope Francis captured our attention

The most popular topic globally: Pope Francis, the current and 266th pope of the Catholic Church, whose relatively progressive demeanor and embrace of technology made for some surprising headlines. Other hot topics of international interest included the U.K.’s royal baby, elections, and, of course, Miley Cyrus. 

People love checking in at Disneyland

In the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, and France, each country’s respective Disneyland topped the list for check-ins. California’s Disneyland and Disney California Adventure topped the list within the U.S., but Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida came in at number three.

For some reason, ‘giraffes’ were listed as the most popular Internet memes in the U.S. 

I don’t really get it – giraffes were a thing? Facebook notes that the odious “Harlem Shake” dance video craze was the most “viral moment,” but I’m not sure where they got giraffes. Facebook’s explanation of its methodology notes, “We measured how many Facebook posts in 2013 mentioned a specific topic and then ranked those topics based on the overall number of mentions to create each list. Mentions include both the term itself and related hashtags.” This does not explain why “giraffes” tops the list – seriously, there were more mentions of giraffes than cats, puppies, or sloths? 

Facebook lets users see customized “Year in Review” Timelines to see what people, placess, and events made an impact this year. You can see yours by clicking on a box in the top left corner of your Facebook profile. 

Facebook also made a very pretty commercial using “2013 in Review” as its theme, and it got me weirdly emotional-feeling so I’m re-posting it and wondering whether they hired someone from Google’s freakishly good ad team:

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