What is your current Facebook status? A couple years ago, the answer would probably be “some random sentence about how you feel”. But over the last months, Facebook has become more and more important as a platform to share news stories, and chances are your latest post was actually an article you shared with your contacts.
Aware of this new reality, the social network decided to look back at 2011 to find out the most popular articles on its platform. Here’s the “top 40 shared articles in the US” list that Facebook just made public:
1. Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami (New York Times)
5. (video) – Father Daughter Dance Medley (Yahoo)
10. New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus The 13th Sign? (The Huffington Post)
11. Parents keep child’s gender under wraps (Yahoo)
12. How to Talk to Little Girls (The Huffington Post)
13. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich (New York Times)
14.Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior (Wall Street Journal)
15. (video) – Twin Baby Boys Have A Conversation! (Yahoo)
16. Man robs bank to get medical care in jail (Yahoo)
17. Why You’re Not Married (The Huffington Post)
18. A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs (New York Times)
19. Ryan Dunn Dead: ‘Jackass’ Star Dies In Car Crash (The Huffington Post)
21. Notes From a Dragon Mom (New York Times)
22. A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy” (The Huffington Post)
23. Obama’s and Bush’s effects on the deficit in one graph (Washington Post)
24. Penn State, my final loss of faith (Washington Post)
25. Golden-Voiced Homeless Man Captivates Internet (Yahoo)
26. The most typical face on the planet (Yahoo)
28. Permissive parents: Curb your brats (CNN)
30. (video) – Laughing Baby Loves Ripping Paper! (Yahoo)
31. Epic Cover Letter: How To Get Hired For Your Dream Job (PICTURE) (The Huffington Post)
32. New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet (Washington Post)
33. Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know (Yahoo)
34. The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death (The Huffington Post)
35. (photo gallery) – ‘Where Children Sleep’ (New York Times)
37. Steve Jobs, Apple founder, dies (CNN)
39. Grant Hill’s Response to Jalen Rose (New York Times)
40. Steve Jobs’s Patents (New York Times)
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Interestingly, the list isn’t as superficial as skeptics may expect. While astrology gets a couple mentions, the top story is a very serious one – a photo gallery from the New York Times about Japan’s tsunami. Overall, photography seems to fare quite well.
So do tech stories, from Steve Jobs’ death to viral videos and stories about Facebook itself. It’s not just about breaking news. While CNN’s factual piece ‘Steve Jobs, Apple founder dies’ is one of the most shared stories, so is Steve Jobs’ moving eulogy by his sister.
What was your favorite story on this list? Let us know in the comments.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.