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Here’s What The Internet Looked Like In 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at what the year brought, and what people were interested in. What better way to do that than to look at the lists provided by the major Internet...
Here’s What The Internet Looked Like In 2014
Written by Chris Crum
  • As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at what the year brought, and what people were interested in. What better way to do that than to look at the lists provided by the major Internet services we use.

    What word sums up 2014 in your mind? Let us know in the comments.

    These lists have been trickling in for the past month or so, but taking it all in at once can really give us a better picture of the year as a whole. Let’s start with the search trends.

    Robin Williams took the top spot on Google’s global trends charts this year. According to the company, there was even an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health after he died.

    Williams was followed by the World Cup and Ebola. Here’s a look at the global top ten.


    Here in the U.S., the list is only slightly different:

    1. Robin Williams
    2. World Cup
    3. Ebola
    4. Malaysia Airlines
    5. Flappy Bird
    6. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
    7. ISIS
    8. Ferguson
    9. Frozen
    10. Ukraine

    The top trending people in the world were:

    1. Jennifer Lawrence
    2. Kim Kardashian
    3. Julie Gayet
    4. Tracy Morgan
    5. Renee Zellweger
    6. Jared Leto
    7. Lorde
    8. Matthew McConaughey
    9. Amal Almamuddin
    10. Donald Sterling

    On the tech side of things, here’s what the list for consumer electronics looked like (global):

    1. iPhone 6
    2. Samsung Galaxy S5
    3. Nexus 6
    4. Moto G
    5. Samsung Note 4
    6. LG G3
    7. XBox One
    8. Apple Watch
    9. Nokia X
    10. iPad Air

    Of course there is plenty more to dig into, and you can do just that on the Year in Search site.

    “On our Year in Search site, you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable,” says Google’s Amit Singhal. “From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for ‘how’ more than ‘why,’ each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.”

    On Bing, Kim Kardashian became the most searched person this year, taking the place of Beyoncé.

    “From her buzzworthy Vogue cover, and extravagant wedding to her photos that ‘broke’ the Internet, Kim and her famous family held our attention throughout the year,” a Bing spokesperson said.

    Here are some noteworthy top ten lists from Bing’s findings:

    Most searched person:

    1. Kim Kardashian
    2. Beyoncé
    3. Miley Cyrus
    4. Katy Perry
    5. Justin Bieber
    6. Joan Rivers
    7. Jennifer Lopez
    8. Kendall Jenner
    9. Kaley Cuoco
    10. Robin Williams

    Most Searched Devices:

    1. iPhone 6
    2. Xbox One
    3. Fitbit
    4. iPad
    5. Surface Pro 3
    6. Kindle Fire
    7. Windows Phone
    8. Galaxy S4
    9. Chromecast
    10. Google Glass

    Most Searched Apps:

    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter
    3. Instagram
    4. Skype
    5. Vine
    6. Snapchat
    7. Candy Crush Saga
    8. WhatsApp
    9. Angry Birds
    10. Farmville

    Most Searched News Stories:

    1. World Cup
    2. Super Bowl
    3. Missing Malaysia Airlines jet
    4. Winter Olympics
    5. The rise of ISIS
    6. Ray Rice controversy
    7. Shooting in Ferguson, Missouri
    8. Ebola outbreak
    9. Brittany Maynard Death with Dignity
    10. Ukraine (Crimea)-Russia conflict

    You can look at additional search trend info from Bing here.

    Here’s what the top ten looks like on Yahoo:



    Here’s a look at the top “obsessions” of the year according to Yahoo:



    More from Yahoo…

    The top-searched technology consumer goods were:

    1. Apple iPhone 6
    2. Samsung Galaxy s5
    3. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4. GoPro
    5. Apple iPad Mini
    6. Microsoft XBOX One
    7. Amazon Kindle
    8. Sony Playstation 4
    9. Apple iPad Air
    10. Microsoft Surface Pro 3

    Top-Searched News Stories on Yahoo in 2014:

    1. Ebola epidemic
    2. Death of Robin Williams
    3. Elections 2014
    4. Leaked photos 2014
    5. Malaysia Airlines tragedies
    6. Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo.
    7. Jodi Arias sentencing
    8. ISIS
    9. Ray Rice domestic violence
    10. Obamacare

    Top-Searched Sports Moments on Yahoo in 2014:

    1. World Cup: Home team favorite Brazil falls to Germany in the semi-finals
    2. World Series: Giants win their third title in five years with Madison Bumgarner
    3. Super Bowl: Seahawks strong defense triumphs over Peyton Manning and the Broncos in stunning fashion
    4. Sochi Winter Olympics
    5. NFL rocked by domestic violence issues: Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson
    6. Oscar Pistorius trial
    7. Tony Stewart car accident fatality
    8. LeBron James returns to Cleveland
    9. Donald Sterling: Racism scandal forces Sterling to sell his NBA team
    10. Derek Jeter retires from baseball as a New York Yankee

    Top-Searched Lyrics on Yahoo in 2014

    1. “Let It Go” from “Frozen”
    2. “All of Me” by John Legend
    3. “Problem” by Ariana Grande
    4. “Say Something” by A Great Big World
    5. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith
    6. “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic
    7. “Drunk in Love” by Beyonce
    8. “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea
    9. “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea
    10. “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

    Turning to social media…

    On Facebook, the World Cup was the biggest thing of the year. Here’s a look at the most discussed subjects on the social network:

    1. World Cup
    2. Ebola virus outbreak
    3. Elections in Brazil
    4. Robin Williams
    5. Ice Bucket Challenge
    6. Conflict in Gaza
    7. Malaysia Airlines
    8. Super Bowl
    9. Michael Brown/Ferguson
    10. Sochi Winter Olympics

    On Twitter, the most retweeted tweet of the year was Ellen’s Oscar Tweet:



    Twitter also pulled these highlights in its year-end roundup:

    • World Cup: The biggest sports story in 2014, especially on Twitter. Fans, players, teams and media sent over 672 million Tweets during the month-long tournament. At its peak, there were 618,725 Tweets sent per minute — the largest peak we measured this year — when Germany (@DFB_Team) took home the championship.
    • #BringBackOurGirls: In response to a mass kidnapping in Nigeria, millions of Tweets were sent mentioning #BringBackOurGirlsThis map visualizes the hashtag’s global spread over a two-week period.
    • #IndyRef: Scottish citizens used Twitter to say “yes” or “no” regarding a referendum on independence from the UK in the days leading up to the vote in September. This interactive map of geotagged “yes” or “no” Tweets shows the global nature of the conversation, which spread well beyond Scotland. Fom the first debate through polling day, there were more than 3.75 million Tweets about the referendum.
    • Hong Kong protests: When citizens of Hong Kong gathered to protest governmental electoral reforms, characterized by the hashtag#occupycentral, people over the world took to Twitter to add their thoughts. There were more than 2.3 million Tweets about what became known as the#UmbrellaRevolutionHere are the most shared photos, and here’s how the event played out on Twitter.
    • #BlackLivesMatter: There were more than 18 million Tweets about the#Ferguson protests in August, as charted in this visualization. In the hours following the grand jury’s decision in November, there were 3.5 million Tweets from across the U.S. Also tied to a similar grand jury decision in New York, this map shows how powerfully the hashtags #ICantBreathe and#BlackLivesMatter shaped the conversation on Twitter.

    Top 10 Most Viral Blogs on Tumblr in 2014:

    1. Taylor Swift –
    2. Ghost Photographs –
    3. Will It Beard –
    4. Literary Starbucks –
    5. Crying New York –
    6. Jerry Seinfeld Skeleton –
    7. Museum of Selfies –
    8. Sochi on Tinder –
    9. If They Gunned Me Down –
    10. B4-16 – /

    “One of the most shocking reveals from the Tumblr community comes from its fervent music fans,” Yahoo said. “The Australian pop rock band, 5 Seconds of Summer usurped 2013’s favorite, One Direction for most blogged about musical act on Tumblr.”

    Top 10 Most Reblogged Musical Acts on Tumblr in 2014

    1. 5 Seconds of Summer
    2. One Direction
    3. Beyonce
    4. Fall Out Boy
    5. Lana del Rey
    6. All Time Low
    7. Justin Bieber
    8. Taylor Swift
    9. Kanye West
    10. My Chemical Romance

    Even StumbleUpon released its top stumbles of the year, though it only limited the list to 4.

    The fist one is “20 Gifs That Explain How Things Work”. It’s in the Technology category, and is listed with 267K views. The post comes from FRAUFAYA at the site FreeYork. It looks at things like what happens when we swallow, how keys and locks work, how ants walk, etc. I’ve seen this one before, and I’m pretty sure I gave it a like. It is a pretty good one, so no arguments from me here.

    Number 2 is “Doesn’t Matter How Many Times I See This, It Always Blows My Mind“. It’s in the Philosophy category with 190K views. It’s an interesting story about a person who dies, meets god, and learns that the universe is an egg.

    Number 3 is “Amazing Places to Experience Around the Globe“. It’s in the Travel category, and has 3.3 million views. It’s basically a collection of amazing photographs from different exotic locations around the world.

    Finally, number 4 is “Most Favorited Recipes of All-time“. It’s in Food/Cooking, and has 2.7 million views. It comes from FoodGawker, and has an infinite scroll of mostly pretty good looking food.

    Wikipedia released its first-ever annual video looking back at the year in Wikipedia edits.

    The Wikimedia Foundation’s Katherine Maher had this to say:

    More than anything, it celebrates those who come to Wikipedia to learn and understand the complexity of our world, and those who edit and contribute information so that others might do the same.

    In watching the video, you embark on a journey through the world and Wikipedia, revisiting what you read and edited this year. From the FIFA World Cup to the Indian general elections, and the Ice Bucket Challenge to Ebola in West Africa, we follow threads of discovery through Wikipedia’s vast constellation of knowledge, finding opportunities to contribute along the way. We venture from Sochi to outer space in less than three minutes.

    YouTube gave us a look at the top ads of the year. Then the YouTube Trends team gave us their top picks for videos of the year. For its true 2014 Year in Review, they provided a playlist for each month:













    And here’s the YouTube Rewind:

    Here’s a look at the year in Entertainment as seen through the eyes of Google Play:

    Apple named its top apps, music, movies, TV shows and books on iTunes for 2014. These are for the U.S.

    Elevate took the top iPhone App spot with Threes! winning the top iPhone Game spot. Pixelmator won best iPad app, and Monument Valley won best iPad game.

    Beyoncé won best artist, in the music category while Sam Smith won best new artist. Taylor Swift’s 1989 got best album, and Iggy Azalea’s Fancy got best song.

    In the video department, Guardians of the Galaxy won best blockbuster, while The LEGO Movie took best family movie, and Fargo took best TV show.

    Apple declared Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See the best book in fiction. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobs got best non-fiction.

    Here’s a look at some top five lists from Spotify:

    Top Five Global Artists

    1. Ed Sheeran
    2. Eminem
    3. Coldplay
    4. Calvin Harris
    5. Katy Perry

    Top Five Global Males

    1. Ed Sheeran
    2. Eminem
    3. Calvin Harris
    4. Avicii
    5. David Guetta

    Top Five Global Females

    1. Katy Perry
    2. Ariana Grande
    3. Lana Del Rey
    4. Beyoncé
    5. Lorde

    Top Five Global Groups

    1. Coldplay
    2. Imagine Dragons
    3. Maroon 5
    4. OneRepublic
    5. One Direction

    Top Five Global Tracks

    1. Happy – From “Despicable Me 2″ – Pharrell Williams
    2. Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne) – Clean Bandit
    3. Summer – Calvin Harris
    4. Dark Horse – Katy Perry
    5. All of Me – John Legend

    Top Five Global Albums

    1. x – Ed Sheeran
    2. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
    3. The New Classic – Iggy Azalea
    4. G I R L – Pharrell Williams
    5. My Everything – Ariana Grande

    Top Five Global Viral Tracks

    1. Take Me To Church – Hozier
    2. Gooey – Glass Animals
    3. Ojos Color Sol – Calle 13
    4. Coffee – Sylvan Esso
    5. Hey Mami – Sylvan

    Most streamed artists in the US

    1. Eminem
    2. Drake
    3. Kanye West
    4. Lana del Rey
    5. Ariana Grande

    Most streamed tracks in the US

    1. Fancy – Iggy Azalea
    2. Dark Horse – Katy Perry
    3. Happy – From “Despicable Me 2″ – Pharrell Williams
    4. Problem – Ariana Grande
    5. All of Me – John Legend

    Most streamed albums in the US

    1. x – Ed Sheeran
    2. The New Classic – Iggy Azalea
    3. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
    4. Native – OneRepublic
    5. My Everything – Ariana Grande

    Top viral tracks in the US

    1. Take Me To Church – Hozier
    2. Gooey – Glass Animals
    3. Reflections – MisterWives
    4. Coffee – Sylvan Esso
    5. Say You’ll Be There – MØ

    Finally, Amazon shared its best-selling books of the year. Here are the top 20 best-selling:

    1. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

    2. Gray Mountain by John Grisham

    3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

    4. Twenty Seconds Ago (Jack Reacher, #19) by Lee Child

    5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

    6. The Target (Will Robie Series) by David Baldacci

    7. The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige

    8. The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

    9. Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum) by Janet Evanovich

    10. Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly

    11. Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

    12. Edge of Eternity: Book Three of The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett

    13. Shadow Spell (Cousins O’Dwyer) by Nora Roberts

    14. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

    15. Blood Magick (Cousins O’Dwyer) by Nora Roberts

    16. Field of Prey by John Sandford

    17. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon

    18. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

    19. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare

    20. Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

    Amazon also shared the top 20 best-selling kids and teens books:

    1. The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

    2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

    3. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare

    4. Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans by Rush Limbaugh

    5. The One (The Selection) by Kiera Cass

    6. Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

    7. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

    8. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs

    9. Rush Revere and the American Revolution: Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans by Rush Limbaugh

    10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

    11. Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

    12. A Day in the Sun (Disney Frozen) by Frank Berrios

    13. The Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan

    14. The Finisher by David Baldacci

    15. The Revenge of Seven (Lorien Legacies) by Pittacus Lore

    16. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

    17. Minecraft: Construction Handbook: An Official Mojang Book by Scholastic

    18. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

    19. The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio

    20. Silver Shadows: A Bloodlines Novel by Richelle Mead

    While there are undoubtedly plenty of other year-end lists around the web, I think these give us a pretty good idea of what the year looked like as we prepare to begin a new one.

    What was the best part of 2014 to you? Let us know in the comments.

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