Google: What were people in England searching for this year?

With the coronation of King Charles, the first year of Rishi Sunak's premiership, and some of the worst storms in decades, people across England have had a lot to be concerned with in 2023. But what were the search terms that increased the most?

With the coronation of King Charles, the first year of Rishi Sunak's premiership, and some of the worst storms in decades, people across England have had a lot to be concerned with in 2023. But what were the search terms that increased the most?

According to Google Trends, these are some of the topics that saw the biggest increase in interest from people in England, as of 21 December.

'Temu'

Temu People try on Temu clothes

Searches for online superstore Temu increased 2,850% this year compared to the year before.

Temu launched in the UK in April 2023 and has become the UK's most downloaded shopping app with an estimated nine million users, according to Apple.

The shop sells everything from apparel to electronics and allows consumers to bypass warehouse stores and buy directly from Chinese manufacturers.

The rise of Temu, and its fast-fashion competitor Shein, has sparked ethical and environmental concerns.

Their rapid production cycles demand vast quantities of resources, including water, energy, and raw materials, which can cause environmental degradation.

A US Congressional Report from June 2023 also said there was an "extremely high risk that Temu's supply chains are contaminated with forced labor".

Temu says it is at the beginning of its "sustainability journey in terms of high-impact projects", but that it has planted over three million trees across Africa in partnership with Trees for the Future.

The company also says that allegations of forced labour are "completely ungrounded".

"Our current standards and practices are no different from those of major U.S. e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy," a Temu spokesperson said.

'ChatGPT'

Getty Images Sam Altman

Searches for ChatGPT, a chatbot founded by Microsoft-backed company OpenAI, increased 2,700% this year.

Like other similar systems, ChatGPT uses huge amounts of data to create convincing human-like responses to user queries.

It can write essays, scripts, poems, and solve computer coding. It can even simulate conversations.

The app was launched to the public on November 30 2022, but searches for it peaked on 20 March this year when it experienced a data breach involving user conversations and payment information.

A recent BBC News investigation revealed that one of the app's features, which allows users to build their own artificial-intelligence assistants, can be used to create tools for cyber-crime.

In November, OpenAI was thrown into chaos when its co-founder Sam Altman was sacked by its board which said it had "lost confidence" in his leadership, only for the decision to be reversed just days later.

'Nicola Bulley'

Family photo Nicola Bulley

Nicola Bulley went missing on a dog walk in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, on 27 January, prompting a major search which led to intense public interest and a social media frenzy of conspiracy theories.

Google search interest for the 45-year-old's name was almost as high as for ChatGPT, and peaked on 19 February when her body was found in the River Wyre about a mile from where she was last seen.

In June, a coroner concluded Nicola Bulley's death was accidental and she did not have "any desire" to take her own life.

'Bank holidays 2023'

Brits were given an extra bank holiday on 8 May this year to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.

The coronation itself was on 6 May, and searches for bank holidays peaked at the end of April, as millions of people awaited a long weekend and the symbolic ceremony combining religious service and pageantry.

PA Media King Charles being crowned
The ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey, with the King becoming the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned there since 1066.

'Vinted'

Buying and selling "pre-loved" clothes is now a huge industry, in part due to online marketplaces such as Depop, Vinted and eBay where people can trade clothes.

Searches for Europe's biggest online marketplace Vinted increased 90% this year, and their chief executive Adam Jay said in June the growth in demand for second-hand clothing has been "phenomenal".

Vinted now has over eight million registered members in the UK, up from 1.2 million in 2021.

'ITVX'

ITV Love Island series 10 cast

Launched at the end of 2022, ITV's streaming platform ITVX celebrated its first year in December.

The platform hosts popular shows such as Love Island and Big Brother, and streams events like the Rugby World Cup.

Since its launch, ITVX has had over 2.7 billion streams and more than 40 million registered users.

It's no wonder then that 'ITVX' searches increased 300% this year compared to 2022.

Love Island was streamed 340 million times, and the Rugby World Cup was streamed 60 million times, which is an increase of more than 80% on the last tournament in 2019.

Shows exclusively launched on the platform this year included The Twelve, a gripping courtroom drama starring Sam Neill; the first two series of Irvine Welsh's Crime; and comedy Changing Ends, based on Alan Carr's childhood in Northampton in the 1980s.

 

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