Online Trends

SentiOne Social Media Digest – February 2021

Hello and welcome to the SentiOne Social Media Digest 2021! This is a new series we’re starting that will sum up the latest online trends and hottest social media discussions that took place over the past month.

February was a turbulent month: from our continued fascination with Marvel’s WandaVision, through Facebook boycotting its Australian users to the coup in Myanmar. We’ve been following all of the stories through social listening – and here’s what we discovered.

WandaVision rules our screens

Despite being one of the biggest cultural forces in recent years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has fallen off significantly in recent years. After building up to 2019’s Avengers: Endgame for eleven years and twenty-two movies, Marvel decided to take a step back to recharge their batteries. 

We haven’t had a Marvel film since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. The company planned its “Phase Four” to be a massive undertaking: eleven films and thirteen television series, far more than we’ve seen come out from the company up to this point. These plans had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but are still pushing forward at a slower pace.

Despite the delays, WandaVision made it to our screens and instantly captured our attention with its unconventional approach to storytelling and strong performances. It was also released in a traditional TV model: one episode per week, instead of releasing the whole season at once, as is the case with streaming services.
A mentions-in-time chart showing the discussion around WandaVision: on the day of each episode's broadcast and the day after, there are strong peaks suggesting heightened discussion and engagement.<
This approach clearly worked: week after week, episode after episode, we’re seeing strong engagement and discussions.

With one episode remaining until the finale, we’re anxious to see how much of an impact the series will have overall.

Facebook and Australia – what a mess!

The relationship between Facebook and the Land Down Under have been strained, to say the least. The company opposed a proposed piece of legislation – and it did so in a rather drastic way. You can read more about Facebook (temporarily) leaving Australia on our blog.

The reaction to Facebook’s heavy-handed handling of the issue was almost universally negative. Here are some top tweets concerning the issue we’ve detected using SentiOne.

The coup in Myanmar

February saw the country of Myanmar face political upheaval. On February 1st, the country’s democratically elected leaders were detained by a military junta.

The most shared hashtags regarding the situation in Myanmar. #whatshappeninginmyanmar is at the top, with over 850,000 mentions.

This sparked a large wave of protests and universal condemnation of the coup d’etat by the majority of the international community. The protests have also received significant attention on social media. A grassroots campaign seeking to inform foreigners about the situation, #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar reached over 850,000 posts.

A graph showing the most common sources for mentions about Myanmar's political situation, by platform/source. Facebook starts off at the top, but almost immediately falls off to the bottom - corresponding to the coup authorities cutting off access to the service.

The coup authorities made moves against social media: major telecom operators in the country blocked access to Facebook, which was used to organise the first wave of protests. This blackout can be seen on our sources graph: notice how Facebook sharply falls off at the beginning of February.