2010 in Review: Facebook & Twitter's Hottest Trends

This year there's no doubt that Facebook and Twitter both had a huge year, each hitting a new level of success.

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Now they're so pervasive—Facebook in particular—that they offer a unique insight into the year in review and the role these services play. And this year-end list gives Facebook and Twitter a chance to flex their importance as a social utility heir importance.

Facebook's top status trends reveal what the social network calls "memology"—or the trends infiltrating our culture. The top status trends were dominated by natural disasters, what Facebook identifies as "human triumphs," and perhaps most surprisingly, the desire for people to hang out with their friends.

The fastest growing trend was "HMU"—short hand for "hit me up" or "let's hang out." So this virtual friend network actually does enable people to connect more in person. People also used the forum to talk about the 33 Chilean miners and the Haiti earthquake.

Entertainment and sports played a huge role on Facebook. The World Cup was the biggest sporting event of the year, and Facebook as the largest social network became a public forum to react to the games.

Status updates about movies reflect what was huge at the box office and also the younger demographic active on Facebook—Toy Story 3, Twilight: Eclipse, Inception, Alice in Wonderland and Iron Man 2 topped the list.

The question—did these movies gain momentum because people weighed in on Facebook right after seeing them?

Twitter unveiled a list of the "most powerful" Tweets of 2010—a subjective list topped by political change and social progress. First on that list, Ann Curry tweeted to convince the U.S. Air Force to let Doctors Without Borders planes land in Haiti. The list also includes Obama tweeting to welcome President Medvedev to Twitter, and the President of Ecuador using Twitter to declare a state of emergency and accuse opposition of a coup attempt. Not to mention the impact Twitter had on the mid-term elections.

This year Twitter became the place where high profile people announce important things—the CEO of Sun Microsystems announced his departure with a simple tweet and the Prince of Wales delighted in his engagement to Kate Middleton. And then there's Twitter as a personal 9-1-1 service—the company cites a triathlete who tweeted for help when she crashed in the woods.

But Twitter isn't all seriousness and politics—the most re-tweeted Tweets finds that people are most eager to share humor and thoughts from pop stars. The most re-tweeted was Stephen Colbert with a tweet about the Gulf Oil Spill, the year's biggest trend on the service. "In honor of oil-soaked birds, 'tweets' are now 'gurgles," Colbert tweeted.

"Bleep my dad says" also made the list with wry snarky humor, as did a fake Al Qaeda tweet: "Just noticed Twitter keeps prompting me to "add a location to your tweets. Not falling for that one." Pretty funny.

But notably, seven of the most re-tweeted tweets were by musicians including Dizzy Drake, Lil' Wayne and Lady Gaga.

People use this forum to connect directly with stars and share that 1:1 relationship with their friends by passing along their messages.

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