Facebook pushed live-streaming video to its global user base this year, and while the feature garnered widespread attention during the U.S. presidential election and for live police shootings, the most popular broadcast of 2016 came from a chuckling “Star Wars” fan.
The No. 1 most-viewed Facebook Live video came from Candace Payne, aka “Chewbacca Mom,” who became a viral sensation after posting a video of herself wearing a growling mask of the famous “Star Wars” Wookiee and laughing uncontrollably in her car. Her four-minute broadcast has now been watched more than 162 million times.
The Texas resident’s internet fame led to TV appearances, including on CBS’s “The Late Late Show With James Corden” where Payne, Corden and J.J. Abrams donned Chewie masks while sitting in a car. Facebook also invited Payne to its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters for a bike ride with Chewbacca himself.
Five of the top 10 most popular broadcasts on Facebook Live were related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That included BuzzFeed’s sardonic countdown clock to the 2020 election, posted Nov. 9 after Donald Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Facebook has been accused of not doing enough to curb the propagation of fake news on the social-media site, which critics have charged affected the election’s outcome.
In its inaugural year, Facebook Live also became the center of controversy after several deaths were captured live on the service, including a video of Minnesota police killing Philando Castile (since removed from Facebook) that spawned nationwide protests.
Here are the top 10 global Facebook Live videos for 2016 to date, with total view counts (both live and replays):
- Candace Payne, Chewbacca Mom: 162 million views
- Ted Yoder, Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on hammered dulcimer: 85 million
- BuzzFeed, Countdown to the 2020 presidential election: 51 million
- Atlanta Buzz, People are lining up to hug police officers in Dallas: 38 million
- NBC News, Election results electoral map: 36 million
- Under the Hood, Video of a truck completely carved out of wood: 26 million
- Viral Thread, Population count from U.S. to Canada after Donald Trump becomes president: 25 million
- CNN, Election results on Empire State Building: 24 million
- Dena Blizzard, “Pokemon Go” for moms: “Chardonnay Go”: 23 million
- Turner’s Super Deluxe, Election Map: 23 million
Facebook also Thursday released the top 10 globally trending topics on the site for 2016:
- U.S. presidential election
- Brazilian politics
- “Pokemon Go”
- Black Lives Matter
- Rodrigo Duterte & Philippine presidential election
- Super Bowl
- David Bowie
- Muhammad Ali