Facebook has come a long way since 2014, when it first added “trending topics” to users’ feeds. And as 2015, its first full year of letting users know they weren’t alone in freaking out over whatever Donald Trump said that morning comes to a close, there’s no better time for the company to let users know which topics of 2015 were the trendiest.
The company has released a series of top 10 lists that paint a fascinating picture – and less American-centric than you might think, though for better or worse the U.S. presidential election was the most-discussed topic worldwide – of what the online global village was talking about in 2015. From the U.S. election, still a year away, to the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis, to marriage equality, to the two terrorist attacks (on Charlie Hebdo and Nov. 13) that rocked Paris.
For Canadian users, the company released a separate top 10 list of trending topics in Canada. Here, the most discussed topic by far was the 2015 federal election, followed by Canada’s relationship with First Nations… and the Blue Jays, which the company grouped together with “baseball.” The U.S. presidential election came in fifth.
To compile most of the top 10 lists, Facebook measured how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts made between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2015, while lists of the world’s most visited destinations were based on the number of Facebook check-ins over the course of 2015.
Other fascinating takeaways from this year’s data: Canada’s top three destinations were Niagara Falls, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and Canada’s Wonderland.
Niagara Falls also landed on the list of top 10 destinations globally, coming in at number five behind Disney theme parks, Universal Studios theme parks, New York City’s Times Square, and the Eiffel Tower.
Globally, the top three most-discussed entertainers were Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and Kanye West. Game of Thrones was the most-discussed TV show, while Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the most discussed movie. Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao were the year’s most talked-about athletes, thanks to their highly-rated fight in May, followed by UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who suffered a high-profile loss against fellow bantamweight Holly Holm in November.
A few lists are reprinted below.
Top 10 Facebook topics in 2015, globally:
1. U.S. presidential election
2. November 13 attacks in Paris
3. Syrian civil war and refugee crisis
4. Nepal earthquakes
5. Greek debt crisis
6. Marriage equality
7. Fight against ISIS
8. Charlie Hebdo attack
9. Baltimore protests
10. Charleston shooting and flag debate
Facebook’s top 10 Canadian topics in 2015:
1. 2015 Canadian federal election
2. Canada’s relationship with first nations
3. Toronto Blue Jays/baseball
4. November 13 attacks in Paris
5. U.S. presidential election
6. NHL playoffs/Stanley Cup
7. Syrian civil war and refugee crisis
8. Marriage equality
9. Charlie Hebdo attack
10. Air Saguenay Plane Crash
Top 10 Canadian destinations, based on Facebook check-ins:
1. Niagara Falls
2. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
3. Canada’s Wonderland
SkyDome Rogers Centre
5. CN Tower
6. Air Canada Centre
7. Whistler Blackcomb
8. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
9. Banff National Park
10. The Toronto Zoo