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Top search trends of 2023, Threads growth, and the top social app for Gen Z revealed

Google Provides Insight Into the Top Search Trends of 2023

Google has published its latest “Year in Search” overview, highlighting the most searched topics across various categories over the past year. Google’s annual overview of Search trends provides an interesting summary of the year that was, with Google’s dedicated mini-site providing global and regional insights, as well as interactive displays, games, and more.

Our Take: We see your Barbie and Oppenheimer. To see insights around your industry, click the “Explore” link at the top of Google Trends and enter a Topic.

Google cookies

Google Reveals Next Step Toward Removal of Tracking Cookies

On January 4, Google will begin limiting cross-site tracking for some users by restricting website access to third-party cookies by default. Google’s moving to the next stage of its program to phase out web tracking cookies, with the implementation of a new “Tracking Protection” option, which will enable Chrome users to restrict the data that they share when visiting a website. The goal is to learn more about how to optimize the user experience without tracking, while again, also giving users more options to limit the use of their personal data, if they so choose.

Our Take: Feels like we’ve been talking about Google and the end of cookies for years (because we have), but here’s another step forward in their march to protect user privacy while ruining analytics and ad targeting.

Meta Highlights What’s Driving Threads Engagement

With Threads usage rising, and more brands reconsidering their presence on X (formerly Twitter), a key question that many businesses are now considering is what works on Threads, and how can you maximize your Threads presence for optimal engagement?

Our Take: The time to grow your audience and start engaging on Threads isn’t down the line when you’re hundreds of thousands of followers behind your competitors. Plant your flag in the Threads sand and start nurturing your audience there now.

Threads Launches in EU, Expanding Reach of Meta’s X Rival App

The next stage for Threads has arrived, with the app now available for EU-based users, enabling millions more people to access Meta’s Twitter-like platform. As of mid-December (right before the EU launch), Threads sit at 150 million monthly users, with rival X shrinking to 254 million.

Our Take: Anxious to see new Threads numbers in the coming months. One billion is the goal and there’s no reason to believe Meta won’t make it given the synergies between their other platforms, it’s just a matter of how long.

Threads Rolls Out Topic Tags to All Users

After testing them out in selected markets over the last few weeks, Threads topic tags have been rolled out to all users worldwide, providing more ways for users to find relevant discussions in the app. As per Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, Threads topic tags, which are like hashtags but not, will help to guide conversations in the app, and drive more topical engagement around whatever subject you like.

Our Take: They’re tags without the hash. Same thing. More importantly, they’re a welcome addition for exploring topics in your industry.

YouTube Shorts Up To 30 Billion Daily Views As Shorts Ads Begin Testing

New Research Shows YouTube Remains the Top Social App for Teens

Which social apps are tops with teens? Pew Research produced their latest report on teen social media use, based on surveys conducted among 13 to 17 year-old social media users between September and October. And much of it is as you would expect, with YouTube still the dominant online platform of choice, followed by TikTok and Snapchat.

Our Take: Two of those top three choices are video-based, plan your content strategies accordingly for your next generation of customers.

The Age of Virtual Influencers Is Coming, Bringing a Range of New Considerations for Brands

While the current spate of generative AI tools are interesting, and are already changing discovery behaviors and interactive processes, they’re really only scratching the surface of what’s possible, and are far from actual “intelligence” as the AI name suggests. Enter Virtual Influencers.

Our Take: This time last year we were marveling at the power AI could bring to marketing. Did anyone really think then we’d move this fast though?

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