The last year has been one of the most eventful years for Singaporeans. A quick recollection immediately brings about the topic of haze, 'peeping tom', A&W making a comeback, and not to forget, the iconic Jewel Changi Airport.
Google, which has unveiled its annual collection of the top trending topics, news, events, people, and places that piqued Singaporeans' interest, said that Singaporeans were always quick to respond to the latest hype around town. The fervent interest in the opening of Jewel Changi Airport (#2 Singapore News) and Funan Mall (#5 Singapore News) depicts that shopping remains as one of locals' favourite pastime.
Singaporeans also looked to Search for help with recommendations on where to let their hair down. Hot spots that featured on the list this year include MARQUEE Singapore (#9 Singapore News), which made its debut in Singapore as the largest nightclub. Closely behind is the first Shake Shack in Singapore (#10 Singapore news), as well as events such as the Shilin Night Market Singapore, Singapore Night Festival, and Ed Sheeran’s concert (#1, #2, #3 Singapore events respectively).
Love for gadgets
In this digital-first country, Singaporeans are also never far from their gadgets. With mobile penetration being at 154% in Singapore, it came as no surprise that seven out of the 10 gadgets locals were searching for were smartphones. As competition ramps up to improve the capabilities of smartphones through hardware development and AI integration, the iPhone 11 (#6 Trending Searches, #1 Gadgets), Samsung Galaxy S10 (#2 Gadgets), Huawei P30 Pro (#3 Gadgets) and the Google Pixel 4 (#7 Gadgets) were among the top models that had people searching for more.
Audiophiles have also spoken out this year, with interest in both the Airpods Pro and Airpods 2 (#6 and #9 Gadgets) at an all time high. According to Google, this shows that more people are keen to listen to music on the go, and are on the lookout for devices to maximise listening experience.
A year that brought people together in solidarity
2019 also brought about powerful moments that united people across the country and prompted action as they connected over shared emotions, beliefs or concerns resulting from events happening in Singapore and around the world. As the haze engulfed the country (#1 Trending Searches, #1 Singapore News), Singaporeans closely monitored the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) on Search and were prepared in advance for any immediate measures.
According to Google Search, Singaporeans also rallied behind Monica Baey (#6 Singapore News) as she spoke out against the society’s attitude towards sexual harassment. Her bravery in standing up for herself and other victims was commended by netizens online and sparked off important conversations around the issue. Singaporeans were also actively kept abreast of news about the ongoing Hong Kong protests (#2 Trending Searches, #1 International News), and had the attention of Singapore and the world as concerns grew about the escalating clashes between protestors and the police in Hong Kong.
For the love of sports
This year, the spot for the top trending sport has moved into the field of cricket with the ICC World Cup 2019 (#6 Trending Searches, #1 Sporting Events) which saw England taking the winner’s trophy. This was followed closely behind by searches for the hotly contested Wimbledon 2019 (#8 Trending Searches, #2 Sporting Events) which saw defending Gentlemen's singles champion Novak Djokovic retaining his title against Roger Federer.
Sports from the digital arena have made it into the trending sports list for the first time with the esports competition The International Dota 2 Championships (#7 Trending Sporting Events). The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game upped the stakes of the competition with a prize pool of SG$30 million exceeding by far the amount of previous years.
Here are some key searches:
Angeline Leow, head of communications for Google Singapore said: “Singaporeans are curious people; Google Search can help us find information about the world around us, whether we’re looking for updates on the haze, the results of sporting events, or ideas for our next travel destination. It helps us explore, discover, and learn something new. As we turn the page to the new decade, people will look for and consume information in new and different ways. We will continue to evolve and innovate Search, but our focus remains the same -- to make the world’s information accessible and useful to people.”
According to Google’s rankings, Singaporeans showed key interest in the haze (not surprising), international events Hong Kong protests and the historical Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hollywood blockbusters Avengers Endgame, Captain Marvel and Joker, the new Apple iPhone 11, as well as sporting events ICC World Cup 2019, Wimbledon 2019 and Australian Open.