Self-Driving Cars, Pokemon Go, Kim Kardashian Among 2016's Top Real-Time Trends

It wasn’t just the presidential election and President-elect Donald J. Trump’s tirades on Twitter that topped trend lists in 2016. Real-time audience data company Taykey found that beyond politics, developments in the auto, tech, entertainment, and sports sectors dominated real-time trending topics.

Taykey, which analyzes hundreds of millions of data points daily to help brands discover and act on what’s trending in real-time, identified some interesting findings for 2016 per vertical category.

Among the trends:

In the entertainment category, millennial women were the leaders of the online conversation, with the following events on the top-five list:

  1. Kim Kardashian being held at gunpoint during her jewelry heist in Paris.
  2. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announcing their divorce.
  3. Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 50 performance and her new album “Lemonade.”
  4. The death of actor Alan Rickman, known for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies.
  5. Kim Kardashian uses Snapchat to prove Taylor Swift was lying about Kanye West’s “Famous.”



In the realm of technology, connected products like Alexa, Fitbits, and Google Home dominated much of the online conversation. Notably, women led this trend by 57% vs. 43% for men. The top-five list was:

  1. The release of Pokemon Go.
  2. The rise of connected home appliances—Google Home vs. Amazon Echo.
  3. The recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
  4. Instagram copies Snapchat.
  5. Apple’s legal battle with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s locked iPhone.

Online conversations for automotive enthusiasts centered around the emergence of self-driving, autonomous auto technology, with participants skewing younger and more female than for other online auto chatter. The top-five topics were:

  1. Actor Anton Yelchin's 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee recall for a gear-shifting problem.
  2. BMW goes hybrid in 2017.
  3. Mitsubishi Motors was bought by Nissan.
  4. Google zeroes in on Detroit with a new self-driving tech center in Michigan.
  5. Tesla unveils its Model 3.

In the world of sports, men led the online conversation, with people talking about the Olympics online tending to be older on average and middle-aged men the most engaged viewers of the summer Games. The top-five topics were:

  1. The death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
  2. The retirement of Kobe Bryant.
  3. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA Finals.
  4. Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
  5. U.S. men and women dominate 2016 Olympic swimming competitions.
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