You can cram a lot into a year on the Internet.
And since 2014 is coming to a close, the big social networks and search engines are letting us know what snagged our attention this year. Because lists. They do well on the Internet, you know.
These roundups are also a glimpse into our collective pysche. Google’s Year in Search notes we searched “trillions of times.” What were we curious about? What did we laugh at? What did we share?
Robin Williams was the top trending search of 2014. More specific categories reveal other fascinations. Budweiser was the most searched beer. Bananas prompted the most queries about calorie counts. “Gone Girl” finished atop the list of movie trailers that people googled.
If you prefer your annual review in video form, there’s YouTube’s Rewind 2014. This year’s installment, “Turn Down for 2014,” stars YouTube celebs dancing and re-enacting widely shared antics, including ice bucket challenges, “Happy” dancing and a wintry rendition of “Let It Go” from the inescapable movie “Frozen.”
Topping the list of trending YouTube videos? The spooky “Mutant Giant Spider Dog.” Sorry, cat fans, there’s not a single feline in the top 10. In the music video category, women claimed eight of the top 10 spots, led by Katy Perry at No. 1 with “Dark Horse.”
Over on Twitter, the World Cup was the biggest conversation topic of the year with 673 million related tweets during the tournament, including a peak 618,725 tweets per minute when Germany won the championship.
The most retweeted tweet was Ellen DeGeneres’ group selfie at the Oscars. The star-studded shot got more than 3.3 million retweets and 2 million favorites.
But it wasn’t all frivolity. In a blog post about popular topics, Twitter pointed out #BringBackOurGirls, Scottish independence, Hong Kong protests and #BlackLivesMatter as big talkers. Zooming in on #Ferguson, there were 18 million tweets about the August protests and 3.5 million tweets from across the United States “in the hours following the grand jury’s decision in November.”
On Facebook, the “Top Global Topics of 2014” were the World Cup, Ebola virus outbreak, elections in Brazil, Robin Williams, Ice Bucket Challenge, conflict in Gaza, Malaysia Airlines, Super Bowl, Michael Brown/Ferguson and Sochi Winter Olympics.
The social network further dissected U.S. chatter by category. A sampling: Disney properties were the most check-into places in the United States. (Also, the most Instagrammed location, according to CNN.) LeBron James got the most Facebook buzz among U.S. athletes. Beyoncé topped the list of talked-about U.S. entertainers.
But this is the Internet we’re talking about. Time to move on. What’s next in 2015?