This may be Whitney Houston's last time at the top of the charts. The late diva, who died in February, held off the Gangnam Style phenomenon to be the year's No.1 trending search on Google.
The search engine has released its Zeitgeist 2012, the 12th in its annual, year-end look at the "spirit of the times", an analysis of about 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages. As well as overall results, Google Zeitgeist 2012 lists the top searches by image, consumer electronics, people and more, and provides rankings and breakdowns by country.
"Whitney Houston", "Gangnam Style" and "Hurricane Sandy" led the trending searches worldwide, while "Hurricane Sandy", "Kate Middleton pictures released" and "Olympics 2012" were the top three events.
From South Korea, YouTube sensation Psy's signature song and dance video Gangnam Style took the world by storm, landing him the No.1 spot in many countries and making his song the second most trending query of the year. The London Olympics and winning athletes made it into almost every country's top trending searches.
In Thailand, the hottest search terms were for the soap opera Rang Ngao and Gangnam Style, stealing the top spots for fastest rising searches of the year. For the third consecutive year "4shared" topped Thailand's search terms, reflecting a continued shift towards all things digital, from easy online file sharing services to free communications apps like Simsimi, Instagram and Line.
Thais of all ages embrace internet technologies and this year it's clear the "always on" trend is here to stay.
Entertainment searches were also in the spotlight, with the Thai TV drama series Rang Ngao taking over the internet two nights a week as viewers turned online to share, comment, discuss and even complain about the plot, the actors, the actresses and just about everything else.
Thais are truly four-screen consumers, watching TV while interacting with multiple devices including computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
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