Tech Thursday: FaceApp dominated SA Google Search in the past week

The FaceApp dominated social media beating Google searches for Mandela Day, which generated 50 000 searches. The Internet went crazy over the two-year-old app, which uses artificial intelligence to create a rendering of what users might look like in a few decades. FaceApp went viral as users posted their aged likenesses on social media in the #faceappchallenge. Privacy experts, however, warned that the app (made in Russia) may pose a threat to users’ privacy as it stores photos on its servers, with US Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, appealing to the FBI to investigate the app.

In other top searches on Google this past week, “Johnny Clegg” garnered more than 500 000 search queries after news of his passing broke. The ‘White Zulu’ of Juluka and Savuka fame was an internationally acclaimed musician who was also an important figure in the fight against apartheid. Tributes to Clegg flooded social media over the last week. Clegg succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 66.

More than 200 000 search queries were generated for “Mark Batchelor” last week after the former soccer star was brutally gunned down outside his Olivedale home in Gauteng. Investigations into the shooting are still ongoing. Batchelor played for Orlando Pirates, Wits University, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows and Bafana Bafana.

“Jacob Zuma” also garnered more than 100 000 search queries after he made his first, much-anticipated appearance before the Zondo Commission on state capture.

“Macdonald Ndou” picked up more than 10 000 search queries after reports of the Muvhango actor’s arrestdid the rounds. Ndou was held on various charges including extortion and kidnapping. The Hawks have reportedly provisionally withdrawn charges against the TV star, but a spokesperson said the decision to withdraw does not mean the charges will not be reinstated.

“Serena Williams” garnered more than 50 000 searches as the tennis superstar suffered a 6-2, 6-2 defeat against Simona Halep in a Wimbledon final that lasted just 56 minutes. Williams later told Agence France Presse, “She [Halep] played out of her mind” and “I was like a deer in headlights”.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available here.

Source: Capricorn Review