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What we learned from the most shared Facebook posts of 2014

What we learned from the most shared Facebook posts of 2014


Step 1 to Facebook success: Star in the Fast and Furious movies

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"Tyrese Gibson has A+ Facebook skills" is the immediate takeaway from this list of the 250 most shared Facebook posts of the year, shared with The Verge by social media analytics platform CrowdTangle.

The actor and song-writer appears on the list a whopping 13 times, twice in the top 10 posts. I've long assumed Vin Diesel to be the most fruitful Facebook of the Fast and Furious cast, but he doesn't appear on the list once — the official Fast and Furious Facebook page, however, appears at 13 and at 27 we see Michelle Rodriguez's promotion of the franchises's latest film, Furious 7.

Upcoming films in general do well on Facebook. The Fast films are popular, but can't compare with Minions, the Despicable Me spin-off, which is featured in the most shared post on Facebook, along with the 24th and 125th posts. My cynical side wonders how much money was spent by the marketing teams boosting these posts, but maybe they spent little or nothing. That number one post is still getting comments today, despite being published on November 26th. Maybe people just love Minions. Suddenly the best-performing Tyrese post makes a lot of sense.

Want to be Facebook famous? Star in a Fast and Furious movie

A few big takeaways for people who like to know how media travels on the internet:

1. It appears every single post is either a photo post or a video post, as in the post shares the asset directly on Facebook. Link and text posts, the kind most media companies use to promote their work and everyday people use to share their interests, don't appear on this list. Facebook hasn't been coy about its desire to make itself a major video platform. Does it want to favor video because video's successful on Facebook? Or is video successful on Facebook because Facebook wants it to be, and it controls the algorithm that can make that happen? The chart raises lots of questions like this.

2. People on Facebook love video. Eight of the top 10 most shared posts include video. Facebook video player, which silently auto-plays and has the full video capability of YouTube, but runs smoothly and quietly like a GIF. Anecdotally, I catch myself inadvertently watching videos on Facebook simply because they're already rolling when I scroll to them.

3. A medium-sized personality can compete with companies and celebrities multiple times her or his size. I mentioned Tyrese already, but the top 50 most shared posts were published by the accounts of Maria Shriver, George Takei, and a couple local news networks and radio stations.

Want to be big on Facebook in 2015? Here's what to do: appear in Fast and the Furious, adopt a cute computer animated monster, appear on the local news, and capture all of it in Facebook videos. I wish you luck, you mighty social champion.