2018 in Review: The Top Trends of the Year

Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:05 am
Reading Time: 3 minutes

By: McCrindle

2018 was a big year. It brought with it everything from the Royal Wedding to the Thai cave rescue. As 2018 comes to a close, we look back at some of the top trends of 2018, from the most searched terms to the top hashtags of the year.

Most searched Google topics

Google has released its top search trends for 2018. The top news event that was searched in 2018 was the Royal Wedding which took place back in May of 2018. This was followed by Thai Cave Rescue and Wentworth By-election to round out the top three.

The top 10 most searched for news items include:

1. Royal Wedding
2. Thai cave rescue
3. Wentworth by-election
4. My Health Record
5. Beaumont children
6. Hawaii volcano
7. California fires
8. Listeria
9. US midterm elections
10. Blood moon

The most searched Australian people all featured Australian politicians, with Barnaby Joyce the most searched for Australian followed by Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton.

The most globally googled topics include:

1. World Cup
2. Avicii
3. Mac Miller
4. Stan Lee
5. Black Panther
6. Meghan Markle
7. Anthony Bourdain
8. XXXTentacion
9. Stephen Hawking
10. Kate Spade

A year of population milestones

2018 was a big year of population milestones, with Australia reaching a national population of 25 million people, and Melbourne’s population also reaching a population of 5 million people.

Oxford Word of the Year is ‘toxic’

Every year, the English Oxford Living Dictionaries releases its ‘Word of the Year’, a word or expression ‘that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.’

In 2018 ‘toxic’ was selected as the word of the year, as one of the most talked about topics. The Oxford Living Dictionaries states ‘it is the sheer scope of its application that made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title’ and stands to encapsulate toxic chemicals, masculinity, substance, gas, environment, relationships, culture, waste, algae and air.

According to the Oxford Living Dictionaries, their ‘data shows that along with a 45% rise in the number of times it has been looked up on oxforddictionaries.com, over the last year the word toxic has been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses’. Other words that made the 2018 shortlist include ‘gaslighting’, ‘incel’, ‘techlash’ and ‘gammon’.

From the #metoo campaign to toxic workplaces and the importance being placed on wellbeing, the 2018 Word of the Year shows us that we are engaging with an empowered consumer, customer and employee who are demanding greater transparency and who are more willing and empowered to speak out against such issues. We have a generation coming through who are more socially aware and responsible, and who are asking and campaigning for a better and less ‘toxic’ world.

Viral social trends and memes

In 2018, notable trends and memes that have gone viral include the Yanny vs Laurel video, Fortnite dances and, much to parents around the world dismay – baby shark.

The influence of technology and social media today is such that trends can be amplified very quickly, and sometimes seemingly at random times. When we look at Baby Shark and Fortnite, which both became overwhelmingly popular in 2018, we know their origins date back to 2016 and 2017 respectively. That is the nature of social media – all it can take is the right combination of factors for a song or dance to go viral.

The most downloaded app is ‘Tik Tok’

Topping the list above YouTube, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram is the music video and social media app Tik Tok, which allows the user to shoot and edit short clips, then add music and special effects to them. The app was downloaded more than 45 million times this year, almost double Facebook’s numbers.

Article supplied with thanks to McCrindle.

About the Author: McCrindle are a team of researchers and communications specialists who discover insights, and tell the story of Australians – what we do, and who we are.

Skip to toolbar