MH370 tops trending Google searches in S'pore in 2014

SINGAPORE - The mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 was the story that hit Singaporeans hardest this year, according to Google's Year in Search which looked into the year's hottest trends based on Google searches in Singapore.

According to Google, Singapore searches for "MH370" was five times higher than the top trending local news search, "PSI Singapore".

2014 was also a big year for Singapore sports fan, with "World Cup 2014" being the second top search this year. Rounding off the top three trending searches was "iPhone 6", Apple's latest smartphone which was released in September.

Google spokesperson Sana Rahman said: "The twin tragedies of MH370 and MH17 hit Singaporeans hard this year. Many went online to search for the latest updates around the news, along with other developing news stories from around the world."

Other international news headlines that topped the trending searches in Singapore this year included the MH17 tragedy, the death of comedian Robin Williams, and the Scottish independence referendum.

Local news that was trending included events like the announcement of the 2014 Budget, the Pioneer Generation Package and the opening of the new Singapore Sports Hub.

News of the West Africa Ebola outbreak and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge also got Singaporeans into research mode. Searches for "What is ALS" and "What is Ebola" were the top two on Google's "What is..." searches this year.

Entertainment wise, Singaporeans proved international in their choices, veering towards Hollywood hits like "Interstellar" and "Divergent" in their movie choices, but diving into Asian TV creations with Korea's "Emergency Couple" and Hong Kong's "Line Walker".

For music, movie soundtracks hit a high note, with "Let It Go" from the animated film "Frozen" topping the trending songs list.

"On a lighter note, our tastes in food, entertainment and even award shows, show that we are also a nation that not only knows how to have fun, but won't let mere distance and borders get in our way of doing so," said Ms Rahman.

To see more information about Google's Year in Search in Singapore, visit google.com/2014.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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