The end of the year is a time for reflection. We can sit back and think about the good and the bad, what influenced us the most, and what lessons we learned over the last 12 months that we'll carry over to the next 12.
For 2014, Facebook compiled a comprehensive list of the year's top stories, rated in popularity by the conversations that took place for each one. According to the stated methodology in the article, "Year in Review top 10 lists were measured by how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts made between January and December 2014. To put this list together, Facebook posts were analyzed in an aggregated, anonymized way, and then ranked to create a snapshot of the year on Facebook."
The list is actually broken into several lists for different categories, including a global top list, one for the United States, and several for categories like Most Talked-About Movies and Most-Viewed Ice Bucket Challenge Videos (remember that?!).
So let's take a look at the hottest trends of 2014, according to Facebook.
For global topics, number one was the World Cup. This 20th tournament for the Association Football world championship (also known as soccer here in the U.S.) took place in Brazil from June 12 to July 13, 2014. Germany ended up taking home the championship title, beating Argentina 1 to 0 in the final match.
Of course, the second most popular global topic this year was the Ebola outbreak, followed closely by the Brazialian elections. Robin Williams' tragic suicide took the fourth spot and the ALS ice bucket challenge rounded out the top five.
In the United States alone, the number one topic was the Ebola outbreak, followed by the ice bucket challenge. Robin WIlliams was close behind with the Super Bowl and the Michael Brown/Ferguson news took the number five spot.
As for the other categories, many top spots are unsurprising favorites, like Disney as the Most Checked-Into Place in the U.S. for the second year in a row, and LeBron James as the Most Talked-About Athlete in the U.S.
If you have children, you're probably not at all surprised that Disney's Frozen took number one in the Most Talked-About Movies in the U.S., and we're pleased to see such a positive song grace the top of the Most Talked-About Songs list with Pharrell's "Happy." But Pharrell took second place in the Most Talked-About Entertainers list as he was edged out by Beyonce this year.
HBO's Game of Thrones was the Most Talked-About TV Show this year in the U.S., sliding past Netflix's Orange is the New Black and AMC's The Walking Dead.
And if you want to fondly relive the ice bucket challenge videos from celebrities this year, the Facebook article has embedded the top 10 directly into the post, including George Bush's top-rated video, Verne Troyer's ice milk challenge, and Steve-O's call-out to fellow celebrities to donate even more money for the challenge's original purpose: ALS research.
You can find the social media giant's 2014 Year in Review over at the Facebook Newsroom.