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Topics to Watch: August 2016

Many of this month’s Topics to Watch celebrate cultural diversity in the US—particularly in the diversity of its cuisine. With foodies getting creative and street food entering home kitchens, we’re seeing exotic staples grow up or take a turn to the experimental. So we’re excited about this month’s mouth-watering search for the next big thing in creative and product development, as passion for international foods takes hold over feeds (and feeding).

 

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Hot Topics: United States August 2016

Americans said goodbye to Summer 2016 by posting about what they love, what they lost and the issues they felt were most worthy of debate. It’s been a fitting close to a summer full of highs and lows.

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Celebrations

Women on Instagram celebrated Women’s Equality Day, which marks the US Constitution’s 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Many reflected on how far women have come and how far they still have to go. Younger women on Instagram also celebrated World Breastfeeding Week, taking place across 120 countries to promote cultural acceptance of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life.

Big wins
Passion for the UFC was on full display on Instagram, as younger men posted about Conor McGregor’s epic victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 202. And as the Rio Games drew to a close, men and women of all ages took to their feeds to revel in the successes of their favorite gold medal magnets: Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

Screen stealers
The box office and music chart hit “Suicide Squad”was high on younger men’s radar on Facebook. Meanwhile, lovers of spectacle took to Instagram to talk about the MTV Video Music Awards, which featured a highly praised re-creation of Beyonce’s visual album, “Lemonade.”

In commemoration
People of all ages on Facebook and older people on Instagram celebrated the life and death of American actor and comedian Gene Wilder. He was remembered for his roles in ground-breaking comedies, like “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles.” Women on Facebook also mourned the loss of Juan Gabriel, the charismatic Mexican singer who smashed barriers in Latin American music.

Noise makers
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick captivated men on Instagram when he triggered an NFL movement by kneeling during the “Star Spangled Banner” in protest. Young men on Instagram were also in awe over Frank Ocean’s sudden release of his lauded album, “Blond.” And Wizard Entertainment, host of the comic convention Wizard World, was at the center of a “will they” or “won’t they” debate when news got out they would include a guns manufacturer (final answer: no, they wouldn’t).

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What it means for marketers

Facebook and Instagram posts are a reflection of the things that matter most to people and offer opportunities for brands to create meaningful connections through people’s passions and shared causes. Marketers have the chance to form real relationships with audiences when they genuinely contribute to what people care and talk about.

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Topics to Watch: July 2016

Time and again we’ve uncovered folks drawn to the warm embrace of the past, as what’s old has become new. In the US, the trend of nostalgia has taken a turn to the really, really, really old—ancient, in fact—as we see a continued yearning for simpler times and faith in simpler remedies. So in our continued search for the next big thing in creative and product development, we’re looking back, way back. But first, a swift glance to the future and computers.

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Hot Topics: United States July 2016

Patriotism was top of mind in July, as Americans on Facebook and Instagram celebrated Independence Day and participated in discourse with an eye toward November. But politics wasn’t the only flavor of rivalry on display—good ol’ fashioned sports and gaming competitions, from Serena’s triumph at Wimbledon to the masses trying their thumbs at “Pokémon Go,” also got people poking, typing and swiping.

 

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Noise-makers

Older men and women turned to Facebook and Instagram to discuss the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, keying into convention highlights like Ted Cruz’s speech, the Wikileaks scandal and speeches from Melania Trump and First Lady Michelle Obama. Meanwhile, younger men focused on alternative party candidates like Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party.

 

In commemoration

Men and women, young and old, came together to honor those fallen in an attack that happened during celebrations of Bastille Day in Nice, France.

 

Celebrations

Facebook and Instagram were platforms to showcase patriotism this month, as women of all ages celebrated Independence Day and the song “God Bless America.” But women had another reason to celebrate: the emerging shopping holiday, Christmas in July, which has been embraced by retailers to draw in customers during a period that is often slow.

 

Gamers realm

Facebook and Instagram saw discussions from people trying to catch ’em all in July as younger men and women alike discussed the augmented reality game “Pokémon Go.” The location-based mobile game seemed to have triggered enthusiasm for all things Pokémon, with the original anime series and Pokémon Red and Blue (referring to the first two international Pokémon game releases on Game Boy) also popping on Instagram.

 

Let the games begin

Older women celebrated Serena Williams’s historic Wimbledon win on Instagram: her women’s single victory secured her a 22nd Grand Slam title, tying her with Steffi Graf on the all-time list. Meanwhile, younger men took to both Facebook and Instagram to track basketball players after the MLB draft: both Dwayne Wade, who moved to the Chicago Bulls from the Miami Heat, and Kevin Durant, who moved from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, spiked.

 

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What it means for marketers

Whether on the soap box or on the courts, this month showed that healthy competition gets people connecting. As the Rio Games begin and the election cycle heats up, consider how your brand can remain culturally relevant by tapping into fandom and rivalries. But always be sure to remain authentic and showcase your insider knowledge.

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Hot Topics: Canada July 2016

In July, Canadians took to Facebook and Instagram to celebrate the country’s biggest annual festivity: Canada Day. They also cheered on major sporting events and fixated on the latest mobile gaming craze.

 

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Brand buzz

The Canadian release of “Pokémon Go” came with a widespread fascination with the gaming app, leading people to share their quest to catch ’em all on Facebook and Instagram.

July also hosted rumours around the upcoming release of the new Apple iPhone, as people on Facebook speculated on everything from its official name and camera to its home button, release date and more.

 

Entertainment

Canadian comedian Mike Ward dominated a big part of the Entertainment conversation on Facebook. The comedian, who was charged with a human rights violation over a joke he made about a handicapped performer, is crowdsourcing legal fees for his appeal.

People on Facebook also shared their reviews for one of the biggest summer blockbusters: the female-led “Ghostbusters” film.

 

Big wins

People on Instagram shared their photos from the Canadian Open in Oakville, Ontario, where Jhonattan Vegas took the top spot. People also showed support for Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic, who made it to the quarter finals in the Rogers Cup, hosted in Toronto.

Finally, Canadians joined the international conversation, sharing their excitement on Instagram for the Portugal National Football Team, the winners of this year’s Euro Cup soccer tournament.

 

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of July in the charts above. And check out Hot Topics from Facebook IQ every month to gain a deeper understanding of your target audiences, develop more relevant creative and plan media more effectively.

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Hot Topics: Australia July 2016

Australians travelled through both time and topics in July, reliving their pasts, looking forward to the future and debating the present on Facebook and Instagram.

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Rewind

Technology company Niantic gave Pokémon fans a blast from the past when after years of speculation and testing it released the app-based game “Pokémon Go” into test markets around the world. Young Australians jumped at the chance to enter the world of the popular anime cartoon, making it the highest-trending topic across both platforms. Even the series’ mythical creatures trended on Instagram, with both Squirtle and Eevee proving popular with young women.

Disney also took Australians back to their childhoods, as they discussed the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic novel “The BFG” on Facebook. Women of all ages shared their opinion of Disney’s movie, while the re-release of “Ghostbusters” had young women on both platforms asking, “Who you gonna call?”

World leaders

Following June’s national election, Australians continued to stay up to date with politics on Facebook and Instagram. Discussion of polarizing political leader Pauline Hanson popped among men and women of all ages on both platforms, while morning TV host Sonia Kruger’s controversial on-air comments were debated on Facebook.

Celebrations

Religious holiday Eid al-Fitr featured prominently, with young women celebrating the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.

Christmas in July was also a hot topic across both Facebook and Instagram, an opportunity for Australians to feast in a traditional Northern Hemisphere Christmas manner and celebrate with friends and family.

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What it means for marketers

 July’s Hot Topics showcases Facebook’s and Instagram’s ability to drive and create an emotional connection. Whether by evoking nostalgia, rallying people around a cause they are passionate about or bringing them together to celebrate a joyous occasion, marketers who engage with their customers on Facebook and Instagram can achieve a deeper, more impactful connection with their audience.

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Hot Topics: United Kingdom July 2016

Women led the majority of Facebook conversations in July, with current affairs and sport proving most interesting to older groups and Entertainment, brands and products dominating younger discussions.

 

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World leaders

As the UK came to terms with the surprise Brexit decision, conversations amongst older Facebookers turned to the question of who would take over the leadership. Theresa May’s dominance of Facebook conversations foreshadowed her success, while her choice of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary provoked enthusiastic debate.

Meanwhile on Instagram, for a younger, female audience there was only one world leader worth discussing: Beyoncé.

 

Rewind

There was a certain air of nostalgia in July, with the re-emergence and rebooting of a number of familiar pre-millennium entertainment properties. Roald Dahl fans eagerly awaited the movie version of “The BFG” and “Ghostbusters” fans debated the potential merits of its remake, while Pokémon fans discovered a new way to enjoy the game with augmented reality-based “Pokémon Go.”

 

Let the games begin

Sports fans had plenty to talk about, too, with the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the Tour de France both taking place in July.

 

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of July in the charts above. And check out Hot Topics from Facebook IQ every month to gain a deeper understanding of your target audiences, develop more relevant creative and plan media more effectively.

Topics to Watch

Topics to Watch: June 2016

DIY reigns supreme in this edition of Topics to Watch, with people putting new spins on old things. From experimenting in biology labs to repurposing photos and practicing a stitching technique, Americans are turning to Facebook to share their favorite projects—you might just say this is the best collection of DIY “in the history of the internet.”

We recommend brands use the charts below list to fuel everything from product development to creative.

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Hot Topics: United States June 2016

Americans on Facebook and Instagram found ways to persevere and celebrate in the kick-off month to summer, even amidst real-time reactions to news events like the nightclub shooting in Orlando and Brexit (the UK’s withdrawal from the EU).

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Celebrations

Everything from sharks and doughnuts to family, freedom and faith inspired celebrations in June. Father’s Day captured the attention of women on Facebook, as did Children’s Day and Independence Day. And the festivities extended in a more visual format on Instagram, adding Ramadan, Pride, Shark Week and National Doughnut Day to the mix.

Brand buzz

Younger women on Facebook reacted to a contest about Cheetos. Using the “what shape is that cloud” game as inspiration, Frito-Lay asked fans to submit photos of one-of-a-kind-shaped Cheetos and describe what they see. Judges will rate each submission through August 15, and the brand will offer the top 10 winners up to $150,000 in prize money.

And Taco Bell launched its first “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion during the 2016 NBA Finals, garnering the attention of younger women on Facebook who were especially excited to get a free taco after the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on the Cavaliers’ turf.

Gamers realm

While young men talked about E3, the annual trade fair for the video game industry, younger women grew the discussion on Facebook around arcade games.

In commemoration

People turned to Facebook and Instagram in June to commemorate lives well lived and lives lost too soon. Men on each platform mourned American Olympian, boxer and activist Muhammad Ali and Bahamian boxer and actor Kimbo Slice. And women on each platform mourned the Tennessee Lady Vols and most winningest NCAA basketball coach Pat Summitt and American “The Voice” star and singer-songwriter Christina Grimmie.

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of June in the charts above. And check out Hot Topics from Facebook IQ every month to gain a deeper understanding of your target audiences, develop more relevant creative and plan media more effectively.

UK Hot Topics

Hot Topics: United Kingdom June 2016

British conversations on Facebook and Instagram during June saw the return of familiar demographic splits, with younger men favouring sport and younger women showing more interest in Entertainment and celebrations. One subject, however, dominated the national discourse above all others: Brexit.

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Rivalries

The biggest rivalry in generations played out between the Remain and Leave camps in the EU referendum. This occurred at both the national and individual level, as key figures on both sides jostled for supremacy, while an older, male-skewed audience continued the debate on Facebook.

Let the games begin

Meanwhile in France, a very different type of contest was kicking off: the UEFA European Championships. The disappointing performance from the English team preoccupied younger men, while younger-still males discussed the latest video game releases at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Celebrations

Father’s Day was the biggest topic for many younger women across both Facebook and Instagram, along with discussions about Entertainment groups and figures, such as Coldplay and Jaden Smith. Celebrations of Ramadan also proved to be a popular talking point.

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of June in the charts above. And check out Hot Topics from Facebook IQ every month to gain a deeper understanding of your target audiences, develop more relevant creative and plan media more effectively.