Top Facebook memes in 2011: planking, 'lms' and 'tbh'

Memes such as planking, “lms” (like my status) and “tbh” (to be honest) were identified as the top trending cultural phenomena for the year on social networking site Facebook.

Around the world, Facebook users laughed at and posted photos of people planking -- a movement in which people lie face down in unusual locations. The trend swept through the site, peaking in May after the son of the New Zealand prime minister posted a picture of himself planking in the family lounge (with his father in the background).

The acronyms for “like my status” and “to be honest” were also popular memes on the site in 2011.

“A new use of ‘lms’ emerged this year as a way to interact with friends on Facebook,” revealed Facebook in its annual Memology. "This catapulted ‘lms’ to become the fastest-growing meme of 2011.”

“Tbh” also went viral on the site during the year and the phrase “lms for a tbh” became the most iconic status update for 2011 said Facebook.

Status updates were closely linked to news stories and major events in 2011. Early in the year sports events captured the attention of fans around the world. Facebook users cheered on their favorite teams when the Green Bay Packers triumphed over the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl XLV on February 6.

Charlie Sheen’s antics transfixed the social networking world too, sparking a global trend of “winning,” “tiger blood” and “goddesses” memes.

In April Facebook users’ statuses were filled with posts about the Royal Wedding in England as Kate Middleton and Prince William tied the knot.

Facebook reveals that “mentions of the phrase 'Royal Wedding' sho[t] up nearly 600-fold in the days running up to their wedding day.”

Days later, the death of Osama bin Laden took precedence over the wedding and close to 1 in 10 status updates in English mentioned news of his death.

“The year was also marked by outpourings of sadness and memories after the deaths of Amy Winehouse in July and Steve Jobs in October,” said Facebook.

In November fans of the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 filled the site with "mw3"-related posts and helped make Modern Warfare 3 the biggest entertainment launch of all time.

On microblogging site Twitter, the highest number of tweets per second (tps) was recorded on August 26. Twitter users set a new record of 8,868 tweets per second when Beyoncé revealed that she was pregnant during the MTV Video Music Awards.

Additional tps spikes for 2011 were recorded on January 1 (6,939 tps) for New Year’s Eve, on May 28 (6,303 tps) for the UEFA Champions League, on June 27 (6,436 tps) for the BET Awards, on July 17 (7,196 tps) for the end of the FIFA women’s World Cup, on August 25 (7,064 tps) when Steve Jobs resigned from Apple and again on October 6 (6,049 tps) when Steve Jobs died.

Top ten global topics on Facebook in 2011:

  1. Death of Osama bin Laden
  2. Packers win the Super Bowl
  3. Casey Anthony found not guilty
  4. Charlie Sheen
  5. Death of Steve Jobs
  6. The Royal Wedding
  7. Death of Amy Winehouse
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  9. Military operations begin in Libya
  10. Hurricane Irene

Top five status trends on Facebook in the US in 2011:

  1. lms (like my status)
  2. tbh (to be honest)
  3. Death of Osama bin Laden
  4. Charlie Sheen
  5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Top five status trends in the UK in 2011:

  1. Royal Wedding
  2. UK riots
  3. TOWIE
  4. Death of Amy Winehouse
  5. Death of Osama bin Laden

Top five status trends on Facebook in Canada in 2011:

  1. lms (like my status)
  2. Jack Layton
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  4. Death of Osama bin Laden
  5. Charlie Sheen

Top five status trends on Facebook in Australia in 2011:

  1. Planking
  2. Cyclone Yasi
  3. Census
  4. Death of Osama bin Laden
  5. Skrillex