2018 was a significant year filled with events that marked a sign of changing times both in Singapore and the rest of the world. In a year filled with events that toppled long-existing conventions, the top trending searches by Google revealed that Singaporeans are greatly interested in current affairs.
Singaporeans paid keen attention to the fiercely contested Malaysia Elections (#2, Trending Searches; #2, Trending International News), which saw the transition of power from Barisan Nasional(BN) to Pakatan Harapan(PH) for the first time in 60 years of Malaysia’s history. Former prime minister Najib Razak (#4, Trending Searches; #4, Trending International News) also emerged as one of the top trending searches this year.
Back on home ground, other important events made the list including the Trump-Kim Summit (#8, Trending Searches; #1, Trending Singapore News) which saw the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader and the ASEAN Summit 2018 (#9, Trending Singapore News) where Singapore played host to nine other ASEAN countries. While further away in the United Kingdom, all eyes were on the much-anticipated royal wedding of the year, where retired American actress Meghan Markle (#9, Trending Searches; #8, Trending International News) married Prince Harry to become the Duchess of Sussex. Singaporeans kept their pulse on these historical moments that ushered a year of change.
Singaporeans’ interest in football ran high this year, with the FIFA World Cup 2018 taking the #1 spot on the Top Trending Search list this year. Google also created a special search experience for the occasion, allowing legions of football fans to stay updated on the latest scores and match replays. Built directly into Google search, people could access detailed timeline with updates including in-game moments, live images, stats, tweets and more.
Not to be left out, other sporting events that got fans excited included the Australian Open 2018 (#3, Trending Searches; #2, Trending Sporting News), as well as the Commonwealth Games (#9, Trending Sporting News) and Asian Games (#3, Trending Sporting News) where the Singapore teams made the nation proud by claiming a total of 9 and 22 medals respectively.
Singaporeans love for the latest technology have taken to new heights. With the exception of Apple Watch 4 (#7, Trending Gadgets) and iPad Pro (#10, Trending Gadgets), this year continues to see strong competition and interest in smartphones, with Apple’s iPhone XS (#1, Trending Gadgets), Samsung Note 9 (#2, Trending Gadgets) and the latest Google Pixel 3 (#6, Trending Gadgets), emerging among the top trending gadgets over the past year. A slew of revolutionary features combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) with software and hardware have been introduced this year, marking a new era of smartphone devices based on voice, motion and touch.
This year, the Singapore Comex 2018 (#1, Trending Events in Singapore) joined the list for the very first time, followed by the IT Show 2018 (#2, Trending Events in Singapore) which moved up a spot from 2017. Both events were the top two trending searched events in Singapore, revealing how Singaporeans are always on a lookout for a good electronics deal both online and offline.
Marvel’s superhero movies continued to dominate the trending movies list this year, occupying a whopping four spots. Populating the Search bar was the much anticipated Black Panther (#7, Trending Searches; #1, Trending Movies) and Avengers: Infinity War (#10, Trending Searches; #2, Trending Movies), along with Deadpool 2 (#3, Trending Movies) and Venom (#5, Trending Movies). Separately, with many left wondering who died and who survived in Avengers: Infinity War, many took to fan-created website Did Thanos kill me? (#3, Trending Viral News) to determine if they were a casualty of the deadliest showdown against the supervillian, Thanos.
A superhero in his own right to many of the Marvel fans around the world, many grieved the passing of legendary American Marvel comics book writer, editor and publisher Stan Lee (#5, Trending Searches) who inspired, connected and entertained the world with his creation of many iconic characters.
While Korean hallyu continues to remain strong in Singapore, Chinese TV entertainment is emerging as an up and coming trend this year. The popular Chinese hit drama Story of Yanxi Palace (延 禧 攻略)(#1, Trending TV Shows) made it to the top of this year’s trending list of TV shows, a spot above Korean drama What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (#2, Trending TV Shows). Along with Meteor Garden 2018 (#3, Trending TV Shows), Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace (如 懿 传) (#4, Trending TV Shows) and Legend of Fuyao 扶摇 (#9, Trending TV Shows), Chinese dramas occupied a total of four out of ten spots on the list, demonstrating the growing popularity of Chinese entertainment in Singapore.
Angeline Leow, Head of Communications for Google Singapore said, “With one of the most engaged mobile users in the world, and the region’s internet economy set on growing bigger, Search continues to play a big part in the lives of Singaporeans, providing them with the latest news, entertainment and deals online. People come to Google with all kinds of curious questions, some of which have quick answers, while others might be a jumping off point to learn more. From desktop to mobile, typing to voice, we hope Search will continue to be a useful tool to help Singaporeans discover and explore information.”