The iPad earned something of a sweep in 2010, as the tablet computer made its way into the top trend lists of leading Internet powers Google, Twitter and Facebook.
Facebook Dec. 14 revealed 2010 Memology, list of top trends culled from analyzing status updates published by the social network's 500 million-plus users across 236 countries.
Apple's iPad and iPhone 4 proved to be the fourth most popular meme on Facebook, accounting for more than 25 million posts in 2010. Lars Backstrom, the Facebook engineer who compiled the 2010 Memology report, noted that these two devices helped Apple move past Microsoft in market capitalization.
If one were to suggest that Apple would launch a product that proved more popular than its smash-hit iPhone, people would have laughed.
However, from Google, Twitter and Facebook, it's now clear the iPad was the most buzzworthy consumer electronics device of the year worldwide.
iPad was the only tech meme in Facebook's top 10 memes. The fastest growing trend was the use of HMU ("hit me up"), digital slang people used to ask their friends to hang out. While rare online in 2009, HMU emerged in 80,000 mentions per day on Facebook in the summer.
The FIFA World Cup for soccer was No. 2, with the start of the games and the finals posting 1.5 million and 1.3 million mentions, respectively.
Movies ranked third on the Memology list this year. Toy Story 3, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Inception, Alice in Wonderland and Iron Man 2 were the five most discussed movies. The Social Network, a film about Facebook's formation under CEO Mark Zuckerberg, did not make the short list.
At No. 5, the meme Haiti saw a peak rate of 1,800 posts per minute Jan. 13, one day after a 7.0 magnitude rocked the country.
Pop music star Justin Bieber, who like the iPad made it onto Google's, Twitter's and Facebook's top 10 trend lists, took the No. 6 position. Bieber, a 15-year-old pop sensation, rated No. 3 worldwide in the Google Zeitgeist and No. 8 on Twitter.
Games on Facebook took No. 7, with biggest trending phrase "barn raising" related to Farmville. At No. 8, Mineros/Miners was related to the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days.
Joining HMU in the novelty meme was Airplanes, which was related to the hit song by B.o.B. Rounding out the 2010 Memology was the meme for 2011 as people had high expectations for the New Year.
"References to 2011 showed a big spike on Jan. 1, 2010, as people took the new year as an opportunity to look ahead another full year," Backstrom concluded. "As the date approaches, mentions have steadily increased, as people make more and more plans for the coming year."
All in all, Facebook's 2010 Memology corresponded with many of the trends in the Google Zeitgeist and Twitter top 10 Trends.
It will be interesting to see how the memes shift over the next several years, reflecting not only the changing times but any changes in social memes among Facebook users, for whom pop culture will clearly continue to command attention.