Biggest Facebook topics of 2014: World Cup, Ebola and Malaysia Airlines top trending topics


Facebook has unveiled its Year in Review report, taking a look back at the moments, places and people that moved us in 2014.

With more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook, including 27 million people logging on daily in the UK alone, Facebook is a great barometer of what mattered most to people this year.

In the UK, the Scottish Referendum was the most talked about topic on Facebook this year, little surprise when you consider there were 3.3 million UK interactions (comments, posts and likes) on Facebook on polling day – with 10 million interactions in the five weeks prior to the event.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was the UK’s second largest topic – a phenomenon that saw 17 million videos shared globally! Football also dominated the list, with the World Cup, Premier League title race and the Champions League Final all in the top 10.

People also took to Facebook to discuss moments of real poignancy – from the Conflict in Gaza to Robin Williams’ death to appeals around the Ebola virus.

When it comes to the most check-in Facebook locations, Warner Brothers Studio Tour came out top as people shared their experiences from ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ tour, while tourist destinations Madame Tussauds, London Eye and Chester Zoo also featured in the top 10. The Tower of London features at number three, as millions around the world flocked to see the Poppy Display commemorating the Frist World War Centenary – and shared images on Facebook.


1. World Cup
2. Ebola Virus Outbreak
3. Brazilian Elections
4. Robin Williams
5. Ice Bucket Challenge
6. Conflict in Gaza
7. Malaysia Airlines
8. Super Bowl
9. Michael Brown/Ferguson
10. Sochi Winter Olympics

Key detail:

• The Global List looks at what events, topics, and things mattered most in 2014 in nearly 200 countries and highlights them in a global Top 10 List. Below is some key detail the moments that drive most global conversation:

o The 2014 World Cup reflects the global scope of conversation on Facebook, including hundreds of athletes and celebrities connecting with each other and their fan bases.

o Over 350 million people had 3 billion interactions on Facebook (comments, likes, and posts) about the World Cup, making this the most talked about event on Facebook since we started measuring conversation around events.

o The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is a cause that is important to Mark and Facebook. He donated $25 million and we wanted to help people suffering from this deadly disease and support the heroes on the ground fighting Ebola. And we did this with donations, health messages, and connectivity.

o This year's presidential election in Brazil was one of the most discussed and hotly debated in the country's history – 48 million people in Brazil had 674 million interactions about the election, making it the most talked about election of 2014.

o On August 11, 2014, Robin Williams, one of the world’s most beloved and entertaining comedians tragically took his own life. People around the globe went to Facebook to share their memories and grieve the loss of Robin Williams.

• Tons of fans and public figures shared tributes on Facebook about the great actor and comic: Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Spacey (+266K likes), Taylor Swift (+379K likes), The White House (+91K likes), Whoopi Goldberg (+92K likes) and more all shared tributes. Nearly 6 million people liked Robin Williams on Facebook in the month following his passing.


• 1. Scottish Referendum
• 2. Ice Bucket Challenge
• 3. World Cup
• 4. Premier League title race
• 5. Conflict in Gaza
• 6. Robin Williams
• 7. Louis van Gaal takes over at Manchester United
• 8. Ebola virus outbreak
• 9. Champions League Final
• 10. First World War Centenary

Key detail:

• In the UK, the Scottish Referendum drove most conversation on Facebook, which is no surprise given that polling day alone saw 3.3m UK interactions related to the referendum, 1.9m of which took place in Scotland

• It wasn’t just polling day that saw Referendum conversation on Facebook – in the five weeks up until the 8th September there were over 10 million interactions on Facebook around the Referendum

• Ice Bucket Challenge is number two on the UK list – globally 17 million videos related to the ice bucket challenge were shared on Facebook. These videos were viewed more than 10 billion times by more than 440 million people

• • The Ice Bucket Challenge was a huge success, raising awareness and money for an important cause. That people were able to easily share, discover, and watch videos from friends and public figures on Facebook was a key factor in this

• Football also featured prominently– with the World Cup (3), Premier League title race (4), Louis Van Gaal joining Man Utd (7) and the Champions League Final (9) all in the top 10

• Facebook has over 500 million football fans globally, while Manchester United – featured in the UK top 10 for moments and in the top 10 most checked in locations – have over 60 million fans alone

• The World Cup was huge on Facebook – 350 million people had over 3 billion interactions over the course of the tournament


• 1. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
• 2. Madame Tussauds (London)
• 3. Tower of London
• 4. The London Eye
• 5. Old Trafford - Manchester United stadium
• 6. Chester Zoo
• 7. ZSL London Zoo
• 8. Alton Towers
• 9. LEGOLAND Windsor
• 10. Wembley Stadium

• Key detail:

• Getting a look behind the scenes of ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ clearly had appeal for a huge number of people – making Warner Bros. Studio Tour London the most checked-into place on Facebook.

• The Tower of London, third on the list, was already a popular location but the Poppies display to mark the Centenary of the Frist World War is likely to have increased check in levels significantly. With the First World War Centenary the tenth most talked about topic on Facebook this was clearly a poignant topic on Facebook.

• Sport featured heavily in the top 10 topics data and people also used Facebook at some of their favourite football grounds – Old Trafford and Wembley Stadium both featuring here.


• Bubble Witch 2 Saga
• Candy Crush Soda Saga
• Cookie Jam
• Hero Defense
• Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
• Klondike
• League of Angels
• Old Vegas Slots
• Sparta: War of Empires
• SuperCity

Key detail:

• Across desktop and mobile, over 375 million people play games that are connected with Facebook every month

• 95 of the top 100 Android grossing mobile game apps in the U.S. are integrated with Facebook, and 95 of the top 100 iOS grossing mobile game apps in the US are integrated with Facebook (July 2014)

• And just like the internet, the gaming sector has been unable to resist the charms of Kim Kardashian. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood used Parse back-end technology to make a splash on Facebook among more than a million players in just four weeks.


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 analysed in an aggregated, anonymized way, and then ranked to create a snapshot of the year on Facebook.

Full report:

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