2012 top memes & viral videos

Google, Facebook and Twitter have unveiled the most-shared memes and hashtags of 2012.


  • Twitter trends here.
  • Facebook trends here.
  • Google trends here.
  • Click to play this year’s top viral videos.


  • Facebook’s top memes were entertainment-related — think “Linsanity” and “Gangnam style” (948MM views at time of writing).
  • Whitney Houston’s accidental drowning death was Google’s top search trend, generated more than 10 million tweets and was the third-biggest event on Facebook in 2012.
  • Despite efforts to broaden its appeal, Google+ is still a haven for nerds (top memes include tags related to developer conferences and tech-industry events).
  • On Twitter, people tended to talk about what music they were playing, what they were thankful for and, within the tech category, their mobile service providers and iPads.
  • Hurricane Sandy generated more than 20 million tweets, was the fourth biggest event on Facebook and was the top trending event of 2012 on Google.

Screen shot 2012-12-14 at 1.02.59 PM

Felix Baumgartner’s daring freefall from near space was a top trend on Google. (94.5MM at time of wiring)

Trending Google+ Hashtags

  1. #SOPA (a reference to the draconian anti-piracy bill of the same name that was stopped by outraged internet activists)
  2. #Awesome
  3. #Sandy
  4. #IO12 (a reference to the annual Google IO developers conference)
  5. #Curiosity
  6. #Olympics
  7. #SXSW (an annual Austin conference of particular interest to the tech startup set)
  8. #Debate
  9. #BlastFromThePast
  10. #Eastwooding

Trending Facebook memes

  1. TBH (to be honest)
  2. YOLO (you only live once)
  3. KONY
  4. One-word Comment
  5. Gangnam Style (a dance thing)
  6. Cinnamon Challenge
  7. Cray
  8. SMH (shake my head)
  9. Big Bird
  10. Linsanity  (a basketball thing)

Learn more: CNN article, Wired.



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