Year in Review: 2014 Online

It’s the end of week 1, and we’re already struggling with our dry January/ detox diets/ caffeine-free new year resolutions. 2014 seems like a distant memory, which here, we remember fondly.

Every 12 months, Google releases its global list of trending searches. How many can you guess before looking?

  1. Robin Williams
  2. World Cup
  3. Ebola
  4. Malaysia Airlines
  5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
  6. Flappy Bird
  7. Conchita Wurst
  8. ISIS
  9. Frozen
  10. Sochi Olympics

There’s quite a lot of doom and gloom comprising the list, showing how we turn to Google with our fears and concerns. These searches are broken up by lighter topics, however; Flappy Bird is the first mobile app to crack Google’s top 10. An app becoming one of the most searched for things around the entire world? That really is something

There were over 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos posted on Facebook, and on Instagram there have been 3.7 million videos uploaded with the hashtag #icebucketchallenge. From 29 July to 28 August this year ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association) received $98.2 million – compared with $2.7 million donated during the same period last year. It’s British equivalent the Motor Neurone Disease Association also benefited; Pre-ice bucket, the MND Association would receive on average £200,000 a week in donations. From 22 to 29 August, it received £2.7 million.

And all we need to say about Frozen is “Let it go!” which, love it or hate it, will undoubtedly plant that song in your head.

Surprisingly, this is the first year in a few where an Apple product didn’t make the cut. (2010 had iPad; 2011 featured both iPhone 5 and iPad 3; 2012 had iPad 3 again; 2013 had the iPhone 5S in spot #2)

Over on Twitter, despite her “efforts” Kim Kardashian didn’t #BreakTheInternet, though the memes and parodies it inspired did keep us entertained for a few days.

The so-called “Golden Tweet” of 2014 came from Ellen DeGeneres, whose star-studded selfie at the Oscars was retweeted more than 3.3 million times!

Users also took social activism to Twitter; there were more than 2.3 million tweets about the #UmbrellaRevolution – the pro-Democracy protests that took place in Hong Kong.

One of the biggest Twitter “moments” of 2014 was of course the World Cup. When Germany won the Cup, fans tweeted 618,725 per minute, the biggest traffic peak of the year. Overall, there were 672 million tweets sent by fans, players and teams during the month-long tournament in Brazil.

Millions of tweets with the phrase #BringBackOurGirls were sent around the world in a two-week period after more than 200 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Users also expressed support (or lack of) for other causes; Scotland’s referendum on independence from the United Kingdom sparked #IndyRef, tweeted more than 3.7 million times throughout the campaign. It was a close call, but the Scots ultimately voted against independence.

2014 Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and actor Emma Watson, who launched the #HeForShe movement for gender equality were standout topics. Sadly, again, #RipRobinWilliams was a top trend in August when news broke that he had died.*

For advice on how leverage appropriate trending topics to grow your business please get in touch, in the meantime happy New Year, from all of us at w digital!