In the realm of social media, Facebook is a major and enduring topic. Since the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism began tracking the conversation on blogs in January 2009 and on Twitter in June 2009, Facebook has been among the top five most-discussed topics on one of those platforms in 39 different weeks (as of the week of Jan. 23-27).

This interest in Facebook has only grown over the past year. In 2011, Facebook was among the most popular subjects on blogs or Twitter for 18 separate weeks, compared to eleven weeks in 2010 and 10 weeks in 2009.

Overall, users of Twitter — far more than bloggers — have shown a strong interest in news about Facebook. During the past two and a half years, Facebook made the top story list on Twitter in 35 weeks, compared to just seven weeks on blogs (there were three occasions when Facebook made both lists).

Two of the biggest topics of interest regarding Facebook have been changes to its interface and technology and its business strategy. Reaction to new developments depended largely on the issue at hand. For example, privacy-related issues tended to spark the greatest concern while new functionalities and technological advancements generated a positive response. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.