It may have started out as a rudimentary way to rate the attractiveness of college undergraduates, but almost a decade later, Facebook is a major tool for sharing and debate online – and increasingly an important means for media sites to generate interest.
With over 1 billion active users across the globe, Facebook revealed in October that the average referral track from the social network to media sites increased 170 percent between September 2012 and 2013.
Facebook drives more traffic than any other social platform, and over double the amount of Twitter referrals, according to SimpleReach, which analyzes social networks across the web.
(Read more: The Facebook obsession)
The secret of what makes the average social network user tick and then click is the holy grail for media sites, and to celebrate the end of 2013 - a year that has been particularly lucrative for Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg's baby has revealed the most talked about topics of the year past.
(Read more: Facebook explores adding 'sympathize' button)
Number one on the list was Pope Francis, elected back in March following the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and who has taken a more laid back and likeable approach compared to his rather strict Germanic predecessor.
The former Cardinal Bergoglio turned down the opportunity to live in the official papal residence,and emphasized the importance of serving the poor, with attacks on "unfettered capitalism." He has also won approval from the more liberal wing of the Catholic Church for stating that it had become too focused on issues like contraception, abortion and homosexuality.
Second on the list came not a person nor a single event but the phrase "election." Elections were the top Facebook conversation topics in Argentina, where sitting President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner suffered a setback in midterm elections, as well as Germany, where Angela Merkel won another term in the Bundestag.
(Read more: Facebook vs. Twitter in battle for holiday ad cash)
Another more general term, "flood," came in at number six, with countries including the U.S., Russia Canada, UK, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Germany and Hungary suffering from heavy flooding this year, and their citizens took to Facebook to express shock, offer help or just point out how much water there was.
Third and fourth on the list went to the birth of Prince George of Cambridge on July 22, 2013, and Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, which hit the Philippines in November. Part of the reason the latter was discussed so much on Facebook was appeals for donations from humanitarian agencies through the social media site.