New Delhi : Yahoo! India has announced its 2010 Year in Review, the annual Yahoo! look back that identifies the top trends of the year from millions of consumer searches and the top stories and topics of the year from the Yahoo! network. The Year in Review is a distinct way to look at people’s interests and a society in motion.
This year, online activity on Yahoo! India was dominated by the public’s transfixion with a fair share of controversies and comebacks, triumphs and disasters, clashes of personalities and clashes of interests, spread over the arenas of news, politics, current affairs, cricket, finance, entertainment in general and movies in particular.
In a year where newsmakers of every description vied for the spotlight, Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif emerged as ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ for reasons both professional and personal — a critically acclaimed performance in the film Rajneeti, existing cheek by jowl with a mystery stomach ailment that had the nation on tenterhooks, to her breakup with long time beau Salman Khan and her more recent, still ‘alleged’ romance with the latest Kapoor scion Ranbir. People followed all these developments closely across the Yahoo! network from Yahoo! News to Yahoo! Movies.
As Katrina emerged at the top of the popularity charts, Sachin Tendulkar led as the top cricket icon on the Yahoo! India network. Like each of his previous 20 years in the game, Sachin made national news by breaking records. The highlight, of course, was his emerging as the first player in the history of the game to score 200 runs in a one-day game. Cricket fans across the nation renamed Sachin as “God” and the frenzy reflected across the web with consumers commenting on and sharing cricket stories on the Yahoo! Network. The calendar year also saw him score 1396 Test runs at an average of 82 with two double hundreds and four other centuries — a phenomenal run that saw Tendulkar end the year as ICC Cricketer of the Year.
Cricket continued to establish itself as the national preoccupation of choice —millions of people read, shared and discussed developments around the third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL3) on the Yahoo! network. Yahoo! readers commented and tracked each and every part of the controversies surrounding IPL 3. Controversies ranged from Shashi Tharoor losing his job over an IPL-related spat to Lalit Modi being questioned by various investigative agencies and the abrupt axing of two high profile teams from Rajasthan and Punjab.
Search trends across Yahoo! highlighted scams and scandals, which surfaced with distressing regularity across the realms of politics, governance and finance. From India’s best ever international sporting moment at the Commonwealth Games, to the criminal investigations that followed. Also a sex scandal complete with video rocked the hitherto unsullied reputation of Swami Nithyananda and came as a rude shock to the hundreds of thousands of devoted followers of the ‘godman’.
“No news may be good news for merchants of clichés, but for a journalist, the reverse is true — news is good, it is what keeps editorial adrenalin pumping. From that point of view, 2010 with its plethora of happenings across topic sets validated a finding of the previous years — when things happen, the world comes to Yahoo! This year, with its frenetic mix of headline-making events and larger than life personalities, has seen the audience interest and engagement with Yahoo! grow strongly,” said Prem Panicker, Managing Editor, Yahoo! India.
This year, online activity among Yahoo! US and APAC was dominated by pop culture’s leading ladies, gadgets starting with “I,” and a newfound fascination with soccer. On a lighter note, soccer turned out to be a burning topic for fans and newbie alike. Search trends showed excitement around the players and teams throughout the World Cup tournament.
While these issues above catch user’s attention, still, 2010 was an unstable and tragic year. Among the APAC region, besides the Apple fad and World cup which is common with global trends, frequent natural disasters such as typhoon, earthquakes and tsunami were part of the most popular search terms for 2010. People turned to the Web to watch the effect of the disaster, search for answers to the calamity’s impact and get details. Also many essential political elections happened in Asia. Therefore, keywords such as “local election”, “election results” become pop searching words. This phenomenon also reflects that election results are highly-related to people’s daily life.
Also seen this year is the APAC user’s love for celebrity gossip as evidenced by the number of people who went on Yahoo! to find out the latest reports on local stars.