Aid schemes top Thai Google searches
Thais have paid attention to the government's Covid-19 assistance schemes as three of the top 10 Google searches in the country this year were linked to such programmes, according to Google Thailand.
This trend differs from past years when entertainment and travel terms made up the majority of the list.
Rao Chana (We Win), a financial aid scheme, topped Google searches in Thailand this year.
The programme provided 7,000 baht in subsidies to 31 million citizens affected by the pandemic.
Second was Khon La Khrueng (Let's Go Halves), a co-payment programme.
Mor 33 Rao Rak Kan (Section 33 We Love Each Other), which provides aid to employees covered by Section 33 of the Social Security Act, was in sixth place in the ranking.
"This year, Thais showed ample interest in campaigns launched by the government to help reduce the cost of living for those affected by the economic fallout caused by the pandemic, as well as to stimulate the economy," Google said in a statement.
According to Google, the pandemic was also of interest to Thais, with three search terms linked to Covid-19 landing in the top 10.
Covid-19 vaccine was ranked fourth. Today's Covid-19 situation was in seventh position, while Covid-19 symptoms was eighth.
SGS (Secondary grading system), an education evaluation programme for secondary schools under the supervision of the Office of the Basic Education Commission, was the only education-related search query that made its way on the list, landing in fifth place.
The top 10 also includes searches related to entertainment and celebrations like the clicking game Popcat (third) that went viral on the internet, Krachao Seeda (ninth), a remake of the Thai drama series of the same name, and "Floating krathong online" (10th) to celebrate the Loy Krathong festival.
Google also revealed the top 10 searches in eight categories: news, destinations, restaurants, people, how-to, donations, trending plants as well as cryptocurrency and blockchain.
In the news category, the Covid-19 situation topped the list, followed by news about the massive factory fire in Samut Prakan, the Myanmar coup and flooding caused by tropical storm Dianmu.
For the destination category, Rayong was ranked first in Google searches, followed by Chanthaburi, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Chon Buri and Phuket.
As the pandemic eased up, people were eager to travel again, allowing themselves to heal from stress and anxiety, Google said.
For the how-to category, how to verify identity for the Rao Chana scheme landed at the top spot, followed by how to apply for Khon La Khrueng, how to make a krathong and how to do a Covid-19 self-test.
Regarding the cryptocurrency and blockchain category, local digital asset exchange Bitkub was ranked first, followed by Binance, the world's largest digital asset exchange.
Search interest for plants surged during the lockdowns as people stayed at home, said Google. Caladium bicolour was the top search in the category of trending plants.