Trending this year among Hong Kong's Facebook users: typhoons, TV and troubled politicians

Typhoons, TV and troubled politicians head list of popular topics of discussion on social media site, while theme parks are top check-in spots

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 December, 2013, 5:09am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 December, 2013, 9:21am

Hongkongers are more likely than the rest of the world to post on Facebook about losing weight, studying abroad and learning a new language or instrument.

But Facebook's annual review revealed that Hong Kong's 2.9 million users loved to gossip about politicians and celebrities in 2013, much like devotees of the social media site elsewhere.

The review also revealed some surprising results when it came to the most popular places that Hong Kong users liked to "check in" - a post that tells friends where you are in real time - with hospitals a definite hot spot.

The top three topics that Hong Kong's users liked to talk about this year were typhoons, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po, who was embroiled in a conflict-of-interest row relating to the development of a new town on land his family owned in the New Territories.

Other popular topics included TVB's aviation drama Triumph in the Skies; the city's first openly gay lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen; the Hong Kong Marathon; Canto-pop diva Anita Mui Yim-fong, who died a decade ago; Canto-pop singer Anthony Wong Yiu-ming; animal abuse; and another Canto-pop star, Denise Ho Wan-sze.

"In general, people love to talk about celebrities and politicians," said Jayne Leung Yau-mui, Facebook's director for Greater China.

Users within Asia chatted about similar personal topics, such as getting a new partner, getting married or engaged and travelling.

But locals were more likely to chat about going on a diet when compared to users in Japan and Singapore. Studying abroad was also a hot Hong Kong discussion - but not so much in Taiwan or Australia.

"Studying abroad is a big trend for young people in Hong Kong, and learning a language or instrument is considered an asset when applying for better schools," Leung said.

Meanwhile, hospitals, karaoke bars and superstitious landmarks were some of the more unusual places where Facebook users checked in.

Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin was the only place of worship on a list that also featured a lot of shopping malls and hotels.

Leung said it was no surprise that Disneyland and Ocean Park were the most popular check-in places. Trendy shopping districts such as Causeway Bay, Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui also ranked highly.

Six hospitals made the list, with St Teresa's Hospital in Kowloon and Tuen Mun Hospital the two most popular.

"Most people share their status update to connect and share their thoughts for those moments - whether they are shopping or eating, happy or sad, or sick in hospital," Leung said.

Topics that were popular regionally but less so in Hong Kong included pregnancy, playing sports and buying a car or home.