In Google‘s just released Year in Search (YIS) List of 2017, a year which saw the Republic go to the polls during a more prolonged than usual political environment, it’s a no-brainer that Kenyans online were mostly searching for terms such as ‘IEBC Results’, ‘Tibim’, ‘NASA Coalition’, ‘Jubilee Party’ and ‘Presidential Results’.
Other interesting trends emerged though: the hit Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee track ‘Despacito’, released on January 12th, and remixed four months later with Justin Beiber, was the fourth highest most searched term in the country online on Google. Gambia was the only other top search outside Kenya’s politics, alongside ‘Standard Gauge Railway’, following the downfall of the country’s longtime leader Yahya Jammeh.
Speaking of personalities, Kenya’s former President, Mwai Kibaki, was the top trending person of the year, ahead of Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and the late media personality Janet Kanini. Other frequently looked up terms were ‘What is Bitcoin’, ‘What is covfefe’ (in response to a POTUS Donald Trump Twitter typo) and ‘What is Sarahah’ (a social anonymous questioning platform that became famous in the third quarter of the year).
Globally, Hurricane Irma, iPhone’s 8 and X and actress now soon-to-be-Princess Meghan Markle were the top searches in 2017, evidently boosted by the last quarter of 2017. Bitcoin, the global cryptocurrency phenomenon that’s crossed the $10,000 mark this year has also been a hot topic for users around the World, ranking just ahead of the volatile North Korea, the Las Vegas shooting on October 1st, as well as the term ‘solar eclipse’.
On the political front, Europe soared ahead, with searches for the French, German and British elections this year dominating the top 5. This however, did not overshadow searches in topics such as sports, with the Wimbledon, the Superbowl and the historic Mayweather vs McGregor bout emerging top this year.
Warner Bros/DC’s blockbusters ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Justice League’ were in the list of top 5 most highly searched movies of 2017, with Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ and ‘Shape of You’ the most frequently searched singles of the year.
The complete list of trends can be viewed here