Dec. 14, 2010 at 10:54 AM ET
The fastest growing trend was the use of a new digital shorthand for people to ask their friends to hang out. Whether looking for something to do or just getting off work, people began to add "HMU" to their status updates when they were ready to meet their friends. Standing for "hit me up," the acronym was barely used last year but grew suddenly and steadily throughout 2010, especially during summer breaks and weekends... 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. By May, however, it started to grow slowly and was averaging about 20 posts a day. The volume roughly doubled every month, and by the end of 2009 it had risen to 1,600 posts a day—too modest of a number to be on our radar for last year's list. However, HMU continued to grow aggressively throughout 2010, increasing by about 75 percent each month. By the end of summer, HMU reached 80,000 mentions per day.No.1 most powerful tweet of 2010 by Twitter
2. World Cup: The start of the games and the finals garnered the most attention, with 1.5 million and 1.3 million mentions, respectively, of "World Cup" and countless more mentions of teams and players. At key moments over the course of the games, as many as 50 percent of all status updates were related to them.3. Movies: Naturally, the people updating their status to report on the movie via their mobile phones were able to do so as soon as it ended, while the people reporting on their computers had to get home first. The difference in the spikes between mobile and web gives us an approximation of how long it takes people to get out of the theater, go home and fire up Facebook — about half an hour.4. iPad and iPhone 4: These two products combined to account for over 25 million bragging, lusting or the occasional condemning posts during the year.5. Haiti: Within one minute of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake's strike, status updates started rolling in. With the infrastructure in Haiti badly damaged, many of the first reports were from people in the nearby Dominican Republic (where earthquake is "terremoto"), who felt the powerful quake at a distance. Firsthand reports peaked four minutes after the quake hit, at a rate of 120 a minute. It took another couple of hours for the world to learn of the disaster, and a day later people on Facebook were discussing it at a peak rate of 1,800 posts per minute. 6. Bieber: His Sept. 12 debut on the MTV Video Music Awards attracted the most mentions of him.7. Facebook games: The biggest trending phrase was "barn raising."8. Miners/Mineros: When the ordeal finally ended, millions of people posted about it. In fact, they watched so carefully that when we zoom in to look at posts during the rescue, we see 33 unique spikes in activity — one for each of the rescued miners.9. Airplanes: Using the word "airplanes" is nothing new or noteworthy — most years. But in 2010, it burst onto the scene in status messages thanks to the catchy lyrics of the international hit song "Airplanes." A deeper look showed that people were specifically quoting the following line, often times to share a personal wish and sometimes when they were traveling.10. 2011: References to 2011 showed a big spike on Jan. 1, 2010, as people took the new year as an opportunity to look ahead another full year. As the date approaches, mentions have steadily increased, as people make more and more plans for the coming year.