“Every few months, someone makes the argument that the internet, with its “there’s a subreddit for everything” ethos, has eroded the monoculture. This isn’t that argument, which has always been flawed. Instead, this is a call to no longer believe that trends on social media are capturing a moment in time or anything worthwhile. Those are caught in well-curated feeds, group chats, very algorithm-fed FYPs on TikTok. The best of these aren’t hot topics, they’re the ideas that evolve and get built upon.
On Thursday, YouTube released its list of the “Top Trending Videos and Creators” in the US. The prizewinners ranged from extremely online creators like MrBeast to a Guardian video of the infamous Oscars slap, to the Try Guys talking about the Ned Fulmer situation. These all seemed like trending topics in the Web 2.0 sense of the term. They’re brief news events that come and go. Watercooler conversation. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it feels lacking. The term “trend” applied to something static that a lot”.
This is the first U.S. presidential election in which Google is releasing real-time results of trending search queries. Previously, the Alphabet Inc. unit had put out aggregated search data with a delay of a few days.