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First Twitter, and now Facebook, have released their 2012 reviews, looking back at the people and events that generated the most buzz on their respective networks. The lists contain some predictable entrants, but are also interesting when compared to Google’s top search trends for the year, revealing that what people are searching for online, and what they’re talking about on social networks, aren’t always the same.

The Presidential election topped the list of US events that generated the most buzz on Facebook, followed by the Super Bowl, the death of Whitney Houston, Superstorm Sandy, and the London 2012 Olympics. While 4 of those made the top 5 search trends on Google in the US, their rankings were different, with Hurricane (or Superstorm) Sandy topping the list on Google, followed by the Presidential election, the Super Bowl, and the Olympics. Whitney Houston was the top search trend in the US, but was not classified as an event by Google, otherwise it would have topped the events list.

Beyond those 4 (or 5 if including Whitney Houston), the only other commonalities between the Google events list and the Facebook events list were the death of Trayvon Martin and the Aurora shootings. Facebook users, it seems, were more preoccupied with the IPO, death of Dick Clark, and President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, while Google users wanted to find the latest on the KONY movement, Hurricane Isaac, and the SOPA protest.

Interestingly, the death of Whitney Houston, the 3rd most buzzed about event on Facebook, and the biggest Google search trend both in the US and in the world, didn’t generate quite as much conversation on Twitter. The popular singer was 9th on the list of Twitter’s largest conversations, a list headed by the Summer Olympics, and followed by the US elections, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Super Bowl, and the Euro 2012 championships.

Below, a selection of top-5 lists from the Facebook and Twitter reviews:

  • Facebook (US) – Check-Ins

1. Times Square, New York
2. Disneyland, California
3. AT&T Park, California
4. Yankee Stadium, New York
5. Rangers Ballpark, Texas

  • Facebook (US) – Public Figures

1. Barack Obama
2. Mitt Romney
3. One Direction
4. Tim Tebow
5. Eli Manning and Peyton Manning (tie)

  • Facebook (US) – Technology

1. Instagram
2. Timeline
3. Pinterest
4. Draw Something
5. iPhone

  • Twitter (US trends) – Politics

1. #tcot
2. #teaparty
3. #gop
4. #romney
5. mitt romney

  • Twitter (US trends) – Tech

1. at&t
2. iphone
3. instagram
4. skype
5. kindle

(Note that Twitter’s trends are the topics for which the platform saw noteworthy spikes in conversations. The above lists are for what captured Twitter users’ attention, rather than what terms were most consistently popular.)

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