I like to look at Google Trends from time to time to see what it can tell me about things. I realize that search keyword activity is only one data point in a complex system and that with the move to mobile, it is less important than it was in the web only era. And people search for things when they want them. Once they have them, the search volume goes down. But I still think Google Trends can reveal some interesting things.
Here are some queries I ran today:
Facebook and Google are battling it out for video supremacy, but this query really doesn’t tell us very much about where that battle is going and how it will end. It is interesting to note that YouTube has been a mature but stable business for a long time now.
Twitter and the smartphone seem to have risen with a similar curve and are now in decline, with Twitter falling a bit faster than smartphones.
We see a similar shaped curve with Facebook, but the order of magnitude is quite different which is why I did not combine it with the previous chart.
December 2013 sure seems like the high water mark for the mobile social sector.
But not all boats go out with the receding tide.
Here is Snapchat and Instagram, with Twitter thrown in for scale comparison
It will be interesting to see when Instagram and Snapchat start flattening off. My gut tells me Instagram may already be there but we just don’t see it in the data yet.
Moving on from the past to the future, here are some of the sectors that entrepreneurs and VCs are betting on as the next big thing:
If you take out the VR term and look at the other three, you see something that looks like the NCAA football rankings over the course of a season. Each team/term has had a moment at the top but it remains unclear who is going to prevail.
If we look at one of the most interesting coming battles in tech, the voice interface race, the data is less clear.
I think we haven’t really gotten going on this one. But it is an important one as Chris Dixon explained in a really good blog post last week.
My semi regular Google Trends session today confirms what I’ve known for a while and have written here before. We are largely moving on from mobile and social in terms of big megatrends, video is being played out now, and its not yet clear what is going to emerge as the next big thing. Google is betting on AI and I tend to agree with them on that. Voice interfaces may be a good proxy for that trend.