Facebook's most popular 'shared' news stories for 2011 revealed
THE 40 most popular stories that were posted and "shared" on Facebook this year, have been published by the social networking website.
Researchers at the US-based company found the site's 800 million users had varied news tastes ranging from the "cute to thought provoking".
According to the Facebook study, links of the most popular stories related to family or parenting issues. Other favourites included postings on videos that had become web hits after going "viral".
Changes to Facebook itself was a commonly shared subject, as was politics and the weather.
"We recently looked at the most shared articles in the US on Facebook over the past year," a posting by the Facebook team read.
"The stories range from cute to thought provoking and represent the type of news people have been sharing and discovering with friends in 2011."
Hundreds of Facebook users "liked" the post and added their comments after it was published online on Tuesday.
The most popular link for readers was an astonishing series of satellite photographs, published by The New York Times in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March.
The American newspaper, produced an interactive "slider to compare satellite images", taken by GeoEye/EyeQ, from before and after the disaster.
It was shared by more than 600,000 times on Facebook.
The second most popular link was a CNN feature titled "What teachers really want to tell parents", which discussed why families should trust their school's opinions on their children. It was shared almost 586,000 times.
Another editorial imploring parents not to "dress your girls like tramps" was also hugely popular.
Experts noted that all 40 of the stories come from just six "online" news outlets.
Yahoo had the most with 12 stories, CNN the next with 10, followed by The New York Times and The Huffington Post with 7 each while the Washington Post had three. All outlets were American-based.
Yahoo and CNN both had four postings in the top 10. Three of the most popular related to Steve Jobs, the Apple founder who died last month after a long battle with cancer, particularly the eulogy delivered by his sister and published in the New York Times.
A further three centered on the "new zodiac sign" controversy. The links included postings made over 11 months.