May 17, 2023

Deep fakes, true crime and a new Hollywood hero

Date & Time (GMT):
May 17, 2023 12:47 PM
Date & Time (EST):
May 17, 2023 12:47 PM

The Moments Matrix is a guide to what’s trending on the world’s leading social media sites. Find out what’s going viral and what's here to stay across mainstream and niche topics.

This week's matrix has been compiled by Nichefire.

Image by: The Social Intelligence Lab    

Celebrating women: Women's History Month and International Women's Day
Although Women's History Month and international Women's Day are predictable and come around once a year. What has been remarkable is the growth in interest year-over-year. Since 2019, consumer traffic and interest relating to these holidays have been growing an average of 28% year-over-year. At this rate and trajectory, we can anticipate this will continue to grow.
Data Source: Google, News/media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

ESG investing under fire in the battle against "woke" politics
ESG has been steadily increasing in interest year-over-year since 2018. Many consumers are becoming more aware of climate change and environmental impact; many companies and investors have been working towards more responsible goals as a result. ESG investing regulations in the US have been under intense scrutiny lately by conservative pundits, investors, and lawmakers in an attempt to combat "woke" policies. Now, this specific topic isn't something that we anticipate will be sticking around but this represents rising tension from more conservative voices against "woke" politics.
Data source: Google, news/media, Twitter

Deep fakes: Is it entertainment? Or more sinister?
Along with the rise of generative AI and chatbots - like DALL-E, ChatGPT, and Chai - the issue of deep fakes have taken centre stage. You may have seen deep fake videos of a celebrity's likeness in silly situations. Many memes, fake interviews with deep fake AI, and videos have been made for entertainment. But the issue is that this technology is getting so compelling that there is a concern that it may be used for rapidly spreading disinformation and the AI used to generate it will be undetectable.
Data Source: Google, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

"Freedom Cities" and the rising topic of urbanism
Former US President Donald Trump called for a design contest to create futuristic "freedom cities" on federal land - including landing pads for flying vehicles, bonuses for procreation, and more. This contest sparked the latest topic to emerge among conservative ideologies - and one we expect to stick around: Urbanism.
Data Source: News/media, Google, Twitter

First ever 3D-printed rocket created and expected to launch
Although this is a singular news story of an impressive feat - building a rocket our of 3D-printed parts - the remarkability is in the fact that 3D printing is proving to be a lucrative and inexpensive way to create complex material. So complex, that a rocket was made out of 3D-printed material. 3D printing has been on the up-and-up for consumer and industrial use cases for the past decade. This instance, however, will likely be an inflection point for greater adoption.
Data Source: Google, Twitter, News/Media


Traction picks up for the 2023 Oscars
With the 2023 Oscars coming up, nominees for the various awards have been hotly discussed across social media. One of the most prominent topics has been around Ke Huy Quan's nomination for his role in "Everything Everywhere All at Once." Ke Huy Quan being a former child star in movies like "The Goonies" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple" inspired many other child stars to speak out and root for him.
Data source: Twitter, Google, Instagram, Facebook, News/media

Netflix goes live with its first live stream featuring Chris Rock
Netflix launched its first live-streamed event - a comedy special from Chris Rock. This was Netflix's attempt at the content form. But this was overshadowed by Chris Rock's performance and the news that came from the comedy special - including him addressing the famous slap he got from Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars.
Data source: Google, News/media, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram

The Alex Murdaugh trial and our craving for true crime
One of the latest hot topics in true crime - the Alex Murdaugh trial. This trial became the subject of public attention after HBO and Netflix launched docu-series on the case. With the interest in the true crime genre rising, this is one of the most popular modern trials to be documented since the OJ Simpson trials - and uniquely featured on streaming platforms while the trial was going on. This brought a whole new meaning and reach to the court of public opinion.
Data source: News/media, Google, Twitter

The fall of Silicon Valley Bank
In March, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed due to steep interest rate increases and the decline of the tech industry. It became the second largest bank failure in US history. The resulting aftermath left many startups and other involved parties concerned about their financing. However, this also left many to discuss the issue on platforms like LinkedIn - where entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters alike shared resources, advice, and connections to anyone affected.
Data source: Google, news/media, LinkedIn, Twitter

Moon phases and love interest compatibility
Curious who your soulmate is? The latest TikTok trend will match you to your soulmate using the phases of the moon. The premise is TikTok users are checking the moon phase for the day they were born and comparing it to the day their partner was born. From there they will see how well of a match they are. The trend was so prominent on TikTok that it trended on Google, Twitter, and was picked up by major blogs.
Data source: TikTok, News/Media, Google, Twitter


Bindi Irwin shines a light on Endometriosis
Bindi Irwin, conservationist and daughter of the late Steve Irwin, revealed she has been struggling with a battle against endometriosis for 10 years. After sharing her story of her symptoms being dismissed by doctors on Twitter, awareness surged and led to more exploration around the disease. Articles have suggested many women are being under diagnosed for this.
Data source: Google, News/media, Twitter

Atomic Heart's popularity draws some criticism
The latest video game to hit the market, Atomic Heart, was met with excellent reviews. The premise explores a dystopian timeline in which Soviet Russia saw immense technological triumphs - until things go wrong. However, this latest release sparked a hot debate - it's been accused of being pro-Russia propaganda during a time of unrest (i.e. the Russia-Ukraine War). However, the creators remarked that that is not the intent.
Data source: Twitch, YouTube, Google, Reddit, News/Media

Pedro Pascal has been winning everyone's hearts
Following the wave of adoration for his role in "The Last of Us", Pedro Pascal is making waves again in the newest season of "The Mandalorian". His popularity snowballed to greatness as many super fans of his started creating memes, recollecting previous scenes from shows and movies with him, and sharing wholesome moment in interviews.
Data source: News/media, Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok

Erythritol linked to heart issues
Many fans of low-sugar/low-carb diets, like Keto, have been in shock to learn a common sweetener alternative to sugar, erythritol, has been linked to heart attacks and blood clots. As the search for low sugar alternatives that can still satiate our sweet tooth, this was a a blow to many who use sweeteners that contain this ingredient.
Data source: News/media, Google

Early hype for March Madness
With the March Madness college basketball tournament around the corner, many fans have been getting their tournament brackets ready early. This year is especially hyped because legalisation of online sports betting in some states (see trend below).
Data source: Google, News/media, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook

Millennials & Gen Z are feeling nostalgic
Nostalgia is something we've all experienced before, but nostalgia has been a key trend driving interests with Millennials and Gen Z. We've seen it in our favorite TV shows, like Stranger Things where Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" resurged in popularity, or in our fashion - such as Y2K fashion making a comeback. We've also picked this up in the way we eat candy. Millennials grew up with more “hands-on” and novel candy experiences and that novelty is transcending to future generations. When it comes to nostalgia, we’re seeing innovative twists on classics as well as candies that allow consumers to customise their experiences (like with dips, juices, etc.). Platforms like TikTok are bringing those experiences front and center like never before.
Data source: TikTok, Instagram

Travel hacks communities show us how to travel on a budget
Since the pandemic, many consumers have been itching to get out and travel again. And for many, traveling in the cheapest way possible has become a modern pastime. We've spent some time evaluating the r/TravelHacks SubReddits to learn more about this trend (and for ideas on our own trips!) Despite starting nearly a decade ago, the community increased by over one million subscribers since 2022 (to ~1.3m subscribers).
Data source: Reddit

Online sports betting trends in the US
With online sports betting becoming legal in more US states, consumer interest in the activity has risen along with it. And it's becoming legal in sports-crazed states, like Massachusetts due to its tax revenue benefits. This has been great timing with Super Bowl having just happened in February and we're now in March Madness basketball season.
Data source: Google, News/Media

ChatGPT inspires new waves of AI technology
We'll stop talking about ChatGPT when there ceases to be things to talk about! This time, we've identified a significant trend associated with new applications leveraging ChatGPT's new API. More and more tools are emerging to address unique use cases, leveraging what ChatGPT has to offer.
Data source: Google, Reddit, LinkedIn

Chess continues to boom in popularity
Since the launch of the show the "Queen's Gambit" on Netflix, we've seen a boom of interest in the world of Chess. And now, almost three years later, we're seeing interest climbing again. Various scandals, news on Magnus Carlsen, and growing niche communities have all contributed to the popularity of the game. The r/chess SubReddit has increased by nearly 50% since the start of 2022 and outdoor chess clubs in the UK have reported record numbers of members.
Data source: Reddit, News/media, Google

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