Facebook and YouTube have released respective top ten lists of topics and content that proved most popular over the course of 2014. And to accompany the publication of these summaries of virality, the new media juggernauts have also launched a pair of retrospective videos that give viewers a glimpse at what got the masses clicking over the course of the last year.
Playing out as a seemingly Glee-inspired series of skits, the YouTube video borrows from one of the platform's staples: the parody. Over the course of six minutes, the YouTube Rewind for 2014 salutes everything from the ice bucket challenge to the hit track from Frozen 'Let it Go'.
The video clip released by YouTube is based on international trends, but the media company has also revealed a top ten list based on New Zealand clicks, which provides something of a cross-section of what Kiwis found most interesting in 2014.
Notably, the only Kiwi-made video in the list of the top trending videos for 2014 in New Zealand was the 'Safety in Paradise' video made for Air New Zealand.
Also interesting is that the first and third positions on the list were occupied by clips targeted at kids, with Frozen's 'Let it Go' and a 54-minute compilation of LittleBabyBum nursery rhymes taking up these spots, indicating that many parents are now using on-demand digital media as a tool to keep their children occupied.
Top trending videos for 2014 in New Zealand
1. FROZEN - Let It Go Sing-along | Official Disney HD
2. Bars & Melody - Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer act | Britain's Got Talent 2014
3. Wheels On The Bus | Plus Lots More Nursery Rhymes | 54 Minutes Compilation from LittleBabyBum!
4. Look Up
5. Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega)
6. Safety in Paradise #airnzsafetyvideo
7. FIRST KISS
8. Giant Princess Egg Kinder Surprise Disney Frozen 3D Olaf Elsa Anna Giant Minnie Mickey Play Doh Eggs
9. BEST CLASSROOM APRIL FOOLS PRANK EVER
10. Lip Sync Battle with Emma Stone
Rather than commissioning actors to produce its clip, Facebook's video provides a nostalgic glimpse at the last year by pulling together the key topics of interest that got its subscribers talking.
And while YouTube posited its brand primarily as an entertainment platform, Facebook presented itself as news media entity. During the course of the clip, Facebook pulls at the heartstrings with photographs and videos of the celebrities who passed away in 2014 while also providing spine-tingling clips of fans supporting their teams during the World Cup.
Pakistani Nobel Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai, the spacecraft Philae and the ebola crisis all make appearances, and the presence of Facebook as a connector between people is evident throughout the video.
Facebook hasn't released a New Zealand-specific list of top topics, but the global list provides a clear indication of where the inspiration for the video came from.
Top global topics on Facebook for 2014
- World Cup
- Ebola virus outbreak
- Elections in Brazil
- Robin Williams
- Ice Bucket Challenge
- Conflict in Gaza
- Malaysia Airlines
- Super Bowl
- Michael Brown/Ferguson
- Sochi Winter Olympics