The three biggest names in global web trends – Google, Facebook and Twitter – have released their top ten lists for 2010. In lists filled with global recession worries and natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, Justin Bieber) it says a lot that Apple is still popping up everywhere. More on that in a minute, but first let’s look at the results.
Facebook 2010 Memology
According to Facebook, the iPhone 4 and iPad came in together at number four in their overall top ten “memes” of 2010:
In May, Apple surpassed long-time rival Microsoft in market capitalization, thanks in large part to two of the most discussed products of the year: the iPad and iPhone 4. These two products combined to account for over 25 million bragging, lusting or the occasional condemning posts during the year.
Interestingly, no other technology vendor or consumer electronics product makes Facebook’s top ten, which is curious given the stupendous sales and market share growth of Android devices in the last twelve months. Perhaps this means that while Android owners might be ubiquitous, they’re not as keen to brag about their handsets? Or maybe they really are just settling.
Personally, I’m astonished there was no mention of Microsoft’s Kin, what with it being such a runaway smash-hit success… oh, wait…
Google Zeitgeist 2010
While Facebook might have five hundred million users, Google seems to somehow have more users than there are human beings alive on Earth, so its top ten lists are particularly interesting. Google explains;
Based on the aggregation of billions of search queries people typed into Google this year, Zeitgeist captures the spirit of 2010.
Apparently, the spirit of 2010 personified is something of an Apple fanboy. The iPad appeared at number two in Google’s “Fastest Rising” top ten overall search terms, and achieved first place in the “Fastest Rising in Consumer Electronics” chart, where it was joined by the iPhone 4 at number two.
An Android device did manage to make it to number four in the “Fastest Rising in Consumer Electronics” list. The HTC Evo 4G grabbed that spot. Meanwhile, the iPhone 4 also managed to appear in Google’s “In the News” top ten, at number six. “Mobile Technology” managed to nudge its way in at number 9 – a category that at least broadly includes Android handsets and tablets.
Twitter 2010: Year in Review
Over on Twitter, Apple makes some impressive appearances in the year’s top ten lists, starting with the iPad at number six in “Overall Top Trends:” a list that also features Justin Bieber (8), Harry Potter (9) and Pulpo Paul, a precognitive octopus (no, really).
Where Apple truly cleans up is in Twitter’s Technology top ten with iPad in first place (Android takes runner-up in second place), Apple iOS at number three, Apple iPhone at number four and MacBook Air bringing up the rear at number nine. HTC did appear at number seven in that same list, so with one OS mention and one hardware partner, Twitter is where Google is closest to matching Apple in mindshare.
All Your Trends Are Belong to Us
Overall, Apple gets more mentions across these charts than Google, RIM and Microsoft put together, and that’s fascinating. These companies all spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually in marketing and advertising, but these end-of-year lists surely demonstrate how much more mindshare Apple apparently commands.
One can argue about the relative merits of each company’s mobile OS, but I don’t think there’s any room for debate as to which company’s message is most effective. In 2010, everyone was talking about iPad and iPhone. As Oscar Wilde once said, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
You might say Apple is the Justin Bieber of this year’s worldwide technology chatter. Only, y’know, a Justin Bieber with actual substance, talent and significance. And note that it’s Apple’s mobile products (even the MacBook Air is its most mobile OS X machine) that are making the biggest waves. Mobile is Apple’s future, and that includes the iPad, even if TIME’s Man of the Year doesn’t agree.
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