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Combining high-quality mobile survey technology, a robust polling methodology, and expert data analysis,
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Online Trends

Published August 12th 2020

The Most Popular Unpopular Opinions

Everyone's got unpopular opinions. But what are the most popular unpopular opinions, and what are they about? The Brandwatch React team investigates.

Opinions. We’ve all got them, and that’s even more true now many of us have spent time in lockdown with nothing to do but think.

Today we’re checking out consumers’ most unpopular opinions on social media, using our Consumer Research platform. We looked at mentions from January 1 to June 30 2020 to understand what has been getting under people’s skin.

We also checked out Twitter and Reddit specifically to see how the opinions of users differ between platforms.

Before you @BW_React, these are the opinions of the people – not ours.

General opinions:

A whopping 1.6m of us shared our unpopular opinions on social media from January 1 to June 30, 2020, according to our Consumer Research platform.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that controversial opinions rose during lockdown months. Overall there were 34% more mentions between March and June compared to the four months prior.

What are people sharing their ‘unpopular opinions’ on? First, we used Consumer Research to look at trending topics across all our online data sources.

In the last six months, debates about characters in pop culture hit 63k mentions. This conversation was driven by quite a few different characters, but perhaps most controversial was the debate over the best incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who.

TV shows were also in the spotlight (55k) in the last six months. But we found the conversation was deeper than just a show being bad or good. Consumers talked about how some shows have become outdated. Friends (34k mentions) was called out for being hugely popular, despite some aspects not being acceptable today.

Dislike of fandoms has also been picking up steam (45k mentions) because of how they tend to dominate newsfeeds. 7.5k mentions complained about BTS’ “Army” of fans because of this.

Books were also up there as things that riled users (44k mentions) as people aired their complaints about some of the bestsellers of the century.

Other notable gripes from the last six months were:

  • Movie opinions – 38k mentions
  • Pop culture character relationships – 28k mentions
  • Football and soccer players – 25k mentions
  • Being single is best – 24k mentions
  • Music opinions – 22k mentions

Having found out about general popular opinions, we wondered if different opinions were shared on different platforms. Next, we’ll break the data down by where the posts came from.

Reddit users’ most unpopular opinions

There were 958k mentions containing unpopular opinions on Reddit from January 1 to June 30, 2020. Reddit even has a thread dedicated to r/unpopularopinions.

And it seems like lockdown got to Reddit users, too. Posts to r/unpopular opinions increased 105% in the last four months, while many were in lockdown, compared to the four months prior.

Reddit users’ unpopular opinions were fascinating because they not only touched on lighter topics like pop culture, but also things which happened on the platform.

20k mentions were focused on sports players, which is pretty standard across social media, but 19k were focused on subreddits themselves. Other topics that were unique to the Reddit list included change not being good (19k mentions), and other people’s unsolicited opinions (15k mentions). It’s pretty meta.

Twitter’s most popular unpopular opinions

There were 554k mentions of unpopular opinions on Twitter from January 1 to June 30 2020. Again, mentions peaked during lockdown months when people didn’t have much to do but air their complaints online.

Movie and TV show unpopular opinions topped the Twitter list with 15k mentions, with many divisive conversations about streaming platform originals. Meanwhile, 7k mentions focused on sports (Liverpool F.C was a key topic in this conversation). This was followed by music (7k mentions) and pop culture characters (6k mentions).

Although Twitter is normally considered a home to fandoms, in the last six months we picked up 5k mentions of people sharing their unpopular opinions on them. For many, the big fandoms make too much noise.

Twitter users also had some unique unpopular opinions that didn’t appear on the general list across social media. There were 4k mentions of money equating to happiness, and 2k mentions of both chocolate and ice being disgusting.

Unpopular opinions are more than just a fun way for consumers to air their complaints. They help build communities of people on social media and can spark interesting debates. Some topics also offer brands a chance to interact with consumers in a lighthearted way, despite the difficult times.

So what do you think? Do you agree? Let us know. Or if you’d like to know more, drop us a message @BW_React.

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