Biggest social media sensations of 2016

It was a huge year for social media, particularly Mark Zuckerberg's rapidly growing Facebook empire.

In February the communication giant gave the iconic "like" button some company by introducing "reactions" - love, haha, wow, sad or angry.

It meant users were able engage with content more broadly, and emotionally.

So, what were some of the things Newshub's wonderful Facebook fans reacted to most in 2016?

1. What's Zealand?

During his time in Florida covering the US election, Newshub's political editor Patrick Gower bumped into one very vocal, media-hating Donald Trump supporter.

"No, I'm not talking to the Clinton media … you guys are a sell-out," the man shouted.

That's when Paddy decided to turn on the Kiwi charm: "We're from New Zealand."

"What's Zealand?" he shot back.

The video reached more than 75.8 million people and pulled in around 18.6 million views.

2. The flying dog

Kiwi animal behaviourist Mark Vette achieved what many people would consider impossible - he taught his dog, Reggie, how to fly a plane.

"He can fly a figure-eight all by himself," Mr Vette said in May, talking about the gorgeous rescue dog.

Don't believe him? See for yourself.

3. Kaikōura quake cows

Two cows and a calf became world-famous after becoming stranded on a quake-made island near Kaikōura.

A Newshub cameraman filmed the animals' predicament following November's devastating magnitude 7.6 earthquake.

Fortunately they were all brought to safety.

"They desperately needed water," the farmer said at the time. "Cows don't like living without water so that was the first requirement."

4. #RunningManChallenge

The New Zealand Police may catch people on the run every day, but this was a new challenge for their team.

The dance-off took over social media this year, seeing people dance to the '90s tune 'My Boo' by Ghost Town DJs.

The New Zealand Police bust out their best moves in a recruitment video, challenging their overseas counterparts to a Facebook dance-off.

After the video, police in Australia, the US and the UK followed suit with their own versions of the challenge.

5. Gazza the police dog

Police dog Gazza was farewelled this year after he was shot and killed on duty in Porirua following an overnight standoff.

Draped in a New Zealand flag and a police hat on top of him, police paid tribute to their four-legged friend and colleague before laying him to rest.

"His job was to obey, serve and protect. This he bravely did."