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Who tops HootSuite's 2011 popularity list?

Singer Justin Bieber arrives at the 16th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 14, 2011 in Los Angeles.

Christopher Polk/Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1

It's Justin Bieber's world, and we're just tweeting in it. The Baby singer was this year's top trending topic on Twitter, according to HootSuite, a social-media dashboard used to manage social networks and measure their popularity.

The trend-tastic teen had a terrific campaign in 2011, passing all the right tests in a year that saw the release of a feature film ( Never Say Never, breathlessly billed as the "inspiring true story and rare inside look at the rise of Justin from street performer to Internet phenomenon to global superstar culminating with a dream sold-out show at Madison Square Garden in 3-D") and a chart-topping Christmas album ( Under the Mistletoe).

So, no surprise that the Biebs was well-tweeted upon, even without the notoriety involved in the year's most contentious paternity issue.

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However, other high-rated topics raise eyebrows, including the occupiers at the No. 5 spot, the Jonas Brothers – the washed up boy-band brood. In an earth-shaking bit of news, the Jonas siblings were more tweet-tacular than the tsunami-stricken Japan (No. 9 in the game of hashtag).

Indeed, judging by HootSuite statistics, boy bands dominated the year. South Korea's Super Junior, all hair gel and harmonies, is ranked No. 7, while One Direction, the English-Irish group formed for the British X Factor televised talent contest finished 10th.

Other trending topics include the women's FIFA World Cup (No. 2), Lady Gaga (No. 3), the NBA (No. 4), Christmas (No. 6) and Britney Spears (No. 8).

The reason for this superficial list is clear enough: The world's youth – girls more than boys, it would seem – have marshalled their nimbler thumbs, excitable dispositions and crazed energy levels to tweet on matters near and dear to their hearts, and at an astonishing velocity.

This is a year when Twitter users cared more about Beyonce's pregnancy than the killing of Osama bin Laden, at least if you count caring in terms of tweets. According to figures released earlier in the year by Twitter, the singer's baby announcement set a record, at 8,868 tweets per second (TPS). The important divulging eclipsed the tweet action of the hiding terrorist's demise, with drew a significant peak of 5,106 TPS.

Unfortunately, the HootSuite statistics are skewed radically toward the preoccupations of the lip-glossed set, thus telling us little of the zeitgeist. And why would anyone expect anything different?

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