Hot Topics: United States May 2016

With holidays scattered throughout the month, May was a time for Americans to pause and reflect on what matters. From Mother’s Day to Star Wars Day and games played on-court and on-screen, men and women of all ages turned to Facebook and Instagram to discuss the people and things they love.



There were many reasons to celebrate in May, and younger women on Facebook and older women on Instagram did just that. With Mother’s Day and Día de la Madre popping for English and Spanish speakers alike, moms were at the center of many celebrations.

Women also turned to both platforms to post about Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that marks the Mexican Army’s victory over French troops in 1862 and is a time many people in the US celebrate Mexican food, culture and traditions.

On Instagram, we saw younger women mark and celebrate graduations. And as it did in May 2015, Star Wars Day (May the 4th) captured the attention of both women and men.



Younger men on Facebook and older men on Instagram cheered the loudest during the playoff games leading up to the NBA Finals. Three of the four playoff teams—the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder—created significant buzz on both platforms. While the fourth playoff team, the Golden State Warriors, was a topic of conversation, it did not see a sufficient enough increase from the month before to qualify as a Hot Topic in May.

Gamers’ realm

Younger men on Instagram posted about two newly launched first-person shooter video games, “Doom” and “Overwatch.” Blizzard Entertainment, the game developer and publisher that launched “Overwatch” also caught people’s eyes, achieving a near-even gender split in conversations among young people on Instagram.

Internet famous

Now known as the “Chewbacca Mom,” Texas-based Candace Payne donned a Chewbacca mask and shared her infectious laugh through a Facebook video on May 19, launching Chewbacca as a May Hot Topic.

What it means for marketers

Whether it’s through holidays, graduations or sports and entertainment, the month of May offers brands a variety of opportunities to join conversations about topics people care about. Take part in the celebrations that happen every year, and understand what matters to your core audience so you can be what matters to them.


We present Hot Topics in sets of recurring categories that reflect the types of themes that pop in conversation topics on Facebook and Instagram month over month.