For the March 2023 issue of TrendWatch I’ve curated and researched 10 long-term, interesting trends from thousands that were flagged by the data engines at SISTRIX. This month includes trends from the web, auto, toy and underwear industries. Hold on to your (British) pants!
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that does not track or store personal information about its users. It aims to provide relevant search results while protecting the privacy of its users.
Statistica reports that the market share of this privacy-focused search engine as of March 2021, has the highest market share in North America at 1.58%, followed by Europe at 0.36%. Which accounts for the steady increase in search interest over the years.
DuckDuckGo launched new search assistant last month, called DuckAssist, which utilizes OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model to provide natural language responses to user queries. The assistant aims to provide answers to common questions and tasks, such as converting units of measurement or finding local businesses. Gizmodo notes that DuckAssist is still in beta testing and may not always provide accurate or complete responses, but it represents a step towards more advanced and personalized search experiences.
JellyCat, a British toy company, is currently trending on the internet due to its increasing popularity among children and young adults. According to The Independent, JellyCat’s soft toys are among the best toys for kids and have gained a cult following. Additionally, the company’s Amuseables line is in high demand and frequently out of stock, as reported by Forbes. The popularity of JellyCat has also been boosted by social media, particularly TikTok, where users have been sharing videos of their JellyCat collections. The recent surge in interest is due to a range of Aldi dupes, as reported by The Sun, which are more affordable options for those who want to own JellyCat toys. This cheaper collection is Valentine’s day-themed, and includes a red lobster which reads “you’re my lobster”, and a pear with the text “we make a perfect pear”. Which just goes to show there’s nothing like the knock-off plushy market – and a good pun – to get people’s interest levels soaring.
The term “woke” has become increasingly popular in recent years, but its origins can be traced back to African American Vernacular English and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The term was used to describe a state of heightened awareness and consciousness of social and political issues, particularly those related to systemic oppression and inequality.
In the years that followed, the term “woke” was adopted by various social justice movements and activists. From 2008 on, “woke” began to go mainstream – with its original meaning largely intact. Black Lives Matter used the term as a way to signal their commitment to these issues. The term has also been popularised through social media and the mainstream media, with many public figures and organisations using it to demonstrate their support for social justice causes.
We’re especially fond of “Master Teacher” by Erika Badu; after its release the phrase “I stay woke” from Badu’s song was increasingly used among Black social media users commenting on current events, often harking back to its original political meaning.
However, the term “woke” has also faced criticism and controversy, with some arguing that it has been co-opted by privileged individuals and used as a way to signal virtue without actually taking meaningful action. Others have criticised the term as being overly simplistic and lacking nuance.
Despite these controversies, the concept of being “woke” continues to be an important part of contemporary social and political discourse, with many people seeing it as a necessary step towards creating a more just and equitable society. As the world becomes more interconnected and social issues continue to be at the forefront of public discourse, it is likely that the trend of being “woke” will continue to grow and evolve.