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2011 The year in social media:
The year in social media: Revolutions to riots, cyber-bullying to superinjunctions, social networking has dominated 2011
By: Aim Internet Ltd
It’s been quite a year for social media: Sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been blamed for causing riots and praised for starting revolutions;
So here, we present to you a round-up of social media’s highs and lows in 2011, talking dogs and all.
It’s all about Facebook. Inevitably, the social media giant dominated headlines in 2011. Back in June, flagging usership in key markets led some commentators to suggest users may be suffering Facebook fatigue. But the social networking site went on to reach 1 trillion page views, making it the most viewed website in the world, and rumour has it Facebook will float next year with an estimated valuation of $100 billion. This makes challenges from new social media tools Badoo and Path look like a David and Goliath match-up; could Google+ be the one to take on Facebook’s dominance in 2012?
Top ten global topics on Facebook 2011: The death of Osama Bin Laden took the top spot, with actor and winner Charlie Sheen at number four and the Royal Wedding coming in at number six.
The revolution will be tweeted. Social media played an important role in revolutions and protests around the world, from the Arab Spring to Occupy, to the recent Russian protests against the election, allowing people to organise and share opinions outside state repression. At The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal argued that photo and video-sharing sites were key, as protesters could film and upload quickly using phones: “Armed with these makeshift information weapons, protesters could stand up to power in new ways,” he wrote. It seems that the use of social media during the Arab Spring in particular has serious implications for traditional journalism: “The balance between traditional and new media has tipped in favor of social media and citizen journalists,”
The topic that garnered the most Tweets per second in 2011 was the MTV Video Music Awards – driven by Beyonce busting out her baby bump at the end of her performance. Steve Jobs’s resignation actually generated more Tweets per second (7,064) than his death (6,049).
So will the riots. But it’s not all good news: Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) were blamed in part for providing a platform for the English rioters in August. Trouble-makers allegedly used networks such as BBM to coordinate, encourage violence and looting and post footage of their exploits. The UK government was not best pleased, with Home Secretary Theresa May considering whether social networking sites should be shut down if similar violence starts in the future.
Top Twitter hashtags of 2011: #egypt topped the list, after the spring revolution, followed closely by #tigerblood – yes, it’s Charlie Sheen again. Other popular hashtags included #Japan, in the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami in March, and #superbowl.
Charlie Sheen: A very public meltdown. After being sacked from hit US sitcom Two And A Half Men, actor Charlie Sheen took to the airwaves to vent his displeasure in a series of increasingly bizarre interviews. Sheen told an ABC interviewer that he was not “bipolar”, he was “bi-winning”
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