The Most Upworthy Topics of 2013
With the new year upon us, we thought it would be a good time to look back at what grabbed your hearts and minds in 2013.
Overall, the thing that excites us the most about this data (other than the pleasing colors) is that it demonstrates there’s a truly enormous audience for content about important social topics — from global health to economic inequality to domestic violence.
And if you shared or subscribed or just visited last year: THANK YOU. You demonstrated just how intense the interest is in meaningful media, and we’re incredibly grateful.
But let’s go to the chart. Each circle represents a topic covered by one of our top 100 pieces this year; the bigger the circle, the more traffic that topic got. The colors tell you which of nine broad categories each topic belonged to as well as which topics were shared by the most viewers.
Want to explore the data yourself? Please do! Click above for an interactive visualization. (And hey, if you have interesting reactions to this or ideas for future visualizations, please share them with us at @Upworthy or on Facebook.)
Here are some cool things we saw:
- The median post of our top 100 was viewed more than 3 million times and shared more than 425,000 times. In all of 2013, 139 posts on Upworthy were viewed more than 1 million times.
- The breadth of the topics covered by the top 100 posts was fascinating. The list includes surprising statistics about human trafficking, powerful storytelling about gay marriage, poetry about the benefits a more open immigration policy, and an animated PSA about depression.
- We saw that tens of millions of Internet citizens are deeply concerned about the way women are treated and the way they (and their bodies) are portrayed in the media. Posts about women’s body image, about how the media distorts societal ideas about beauty, and about equalizing the opportunities available to girls and boys were all hugely popular. In all, viewers shared, tweeted, liked, commented on, or pinned the 22 posts on these topics more than 14.5 million times.
- We also saw that, contrary to popular wisdom about what goes viral, neither “difficult” subjects nor fact-filled presentations scare people off. Nearly 20% of the people who watched a deep dive into American health care policy thought it was worth passing along to their friends. A powerful historical video of a teacher giving her young students a firsthand lesson in bigotry was viewed more than 3 million times. And four of the posts in the top 100 were about the important (but thoroughly unsexy) topic of income inequality.
Our mission here is to draw massive amounts of attention to the most important topics, and we’ve still got plenty of work to do to achieve that mission on a societal scale. But thanks to all of you, we’re on our way.
Thanks again, and here’s to a great 2014.