NEW YORK – So many people love Justin Bieber. They love him so much, that this year Twitter changed the way it counts its most tweeted-about topics to effectively exclude him.
Still, the teenage heartthrob made it into not one but three of this year's 10 "most retweeted tweets." Tweet that?
No. 1 was no other than that lovable faux-conservative TV comedian Stephen Colbert with his June 16 tweet, "In honor of oil-soaked birds, 'tweets' are now 'gurgles.'"
Bieber himself was No. 4, with "Te quiero mucho mi amor" ("I love you so much, my love") on July 11. But two more tweets about him — from Joe Jonas and Rihanna — were No. 6 and No. 8.
Rounding out the top 10 was another guy named Justin, who tweets about the stuff his dad says on a much-followed Twitter account that is now the subject of a TV show.
Twitter is just one prominent tech company offering up year-end insights this week. On Tuesday, Facebook released its 2010 "Memology" list, the terms that grew the most in status updates this year compared with 2009. As with Twitter's trending topics, counting how much certain terms grew in use gives a more interesting picture of the year's trends than simply counting the most commonly used phrases, which may well be along the lines of "It's raining."
Justin Bieber figured prominently here, too, making it to No. 6 as the number of times he was mentioned in publicly viewable status updates soared along with his career. Haiti, the rescued Chilean miners and the iPad and iPhone 4 were also in the top 10, but at No. 1 was something more personal: HMU. Short for "hit me up," slang for "get in touch with me," the shorthand was "this year's biggest surprise," Facebook data scientist Lars Backstrom said in a blog post.
"In early 2009, the acronym HMU was virtually unheard of. Only a few posts a day contained HMU, and half of them were probably typos," he wrote. By the end of the summer of 2010, however, this reached 80,000 mentions a day.
Google Inc., too, offered a look back on 2010 in its Zeitgeist report with the fastest-rising searches. Yep, you guessed it, Justin Bieber made out well here, too. He's the No. 3 fastest-rising search term behind the iPad at No. 2 and that now all but forgotten star Chatroulette at No. 1. He was also the fastest-rising search term in the entertainment and people categories.
"Swine flu," meanwhile, topped the list of fastest-falling search terms, beating out Susan Boyle at No. 5 and "myspace layouts" at No. 8.