Social media was ruled by Facebook in 2013, at least according to Bing. In its review of Bing's top searches for the year, Microsoft revealed that Facebook remained firmly affixed to the number-one spot in the social media category among Americans.
"Facebook came in as the most searched social media platform for the second year in a row," said Microsoft in a company blog post.
"2013 saw Facebook release new tools in the shape of graph searches and clickable hashtags, while it was vocal in debates on privacy and hate speech, too," noted Microsoft. Facebook also has an international following. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network "topped the Bing search charts in numerous countries across all continents, including in Brazil, where it beat off the likes of Google-owned Orkut and Google+," said Microsoft.
Pinned at number two is a social network that not only made its first appearance on the list, it leapfrogged some big social media giants, including Twitter and LinkedIn. Microsoft stated, "Pinterest is not only a newcomer to the top-10 list of social media, it rocketed to the number-two spot."
In 2011, Microsoft entered into an alliance with Facebook to infuse Bing results with more personal suggestions. Bing Director Stefan Weitz told eWEEK at the time, "People ask other people for information. Eighty percent of the people making a purchase online will delay that decision until they ask someone else."
Earlier this year, Microsoft rolled out enhancements to Bing's social sidebar that vastly increased the amount of Facebook-derived content. The company announced in January that the new integration would yield a fivefold increase in results plucked from Facebook friends' timelines.
Microsoft didn't just settle for quantity, said Bing director Bill Hankes. Improving the quality of the social sidebar's content was also a goal. The new social sidebar displayed "not only a lot more information but also qualitative information," he said. To that end, Bing expanded from profile information and "likes" to incorporate links shared on Facebook as well as comments and status updates.
Rounding out the top-five social media sites on Bing were Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, the latter of which was snapped up by Facebook for $1 billion last year. Google+, by comparison, took the number-10 spot.
Netflix was the most searched streaming site in 2013. "With new original series and more viewers than ever before, Netflix was the king of entertainment," stated the Bing team. Hulu, iTunes, YouTube and Project Free TV made up the rest of the top five. Microsoft's own Xbox Live came in seventh, after Google Play.
In the category of entertainment electronics, Microsoft's own Xbox ranked first, followed by Apple's iPhone and Google's Android mobile operating system. The iPad and Windows Phone took fourth and fifth place, respectively. Notoriously addictive time-wasters, namely Candy Crush, Angry Birds and Bad Piggies, were the most searched apps. The Harlem Shake emerged as the year's biggest meme, besting Grumpy Cat and Chuck Norris' superhuman feats.
Globally, Bing racked up billions of searches, according to Microsoft. Other highlights, including most searched celebrities, sports stars, movies and vacation destinations, are available at BingTrends.com.