Sci & Tech

Shift in Iranian Online Interest, Trends

Shift in Iranian  Online Interest, Trends
Shift in Iranian  Online Interest, Trends

People searching the term “Iran” over the past week surged a staggering 83% during the last few days when Iran and P5+1 countries hammered out the final nuclear deal.

According to Google Trends, the most amount of direct search terms for the Islamic Republic came via Windows desktop users using the Chrome browser.

At the time of writing, the search for Iran through Google had settled back to its pre-deal average of 36%. Articles published about cessation of sanctions have also peaked in the past week, with contributions from all major online outlets—some for and some against the deal—focused on the post-sanctions situation.

When looking at the search phrase, “Iran Nuclear Deal”, Google states that this was searched from Iran the most, with Tehran taking the top spot. This was then followed by the US capital Washington, predictably, while Dubai and New York came in third and fourth respectively.

The specific related search names most sought after was “Iran Khodro”, the country’s largest carmaker. This indicates that a majority of searches conducted globally were by people interested in the country’s automotive developments. The second most related search topic was “President Obama, Iran” suggesting a political search by those using the search engine.

The breakout term for people googling inside Iran over the past week was “McDonalds”, followed by “McDonalds Iran” and “Iran nuclear agreement”. The first two terms suggest something has gone wild on social media this week—Iranians love McDonalds, evidenced by the fact that it is the top searched item on the Internet in both Latin and Persian search terms.

Tehran comes first with the most amount of McDonald searches, closely followed by Mashhad, and with Karaj and Isfahan coming in joint third place.

One of the possible reasons for the spike in interest about the burger restaurant chain may be down to the company putting out a franchise tender on their main .com for the Islamic Republic, something which had been banned for the past 35 years.

Surprisingly, McDonald’s main competitors, including Burger King, Starbucks and Kentucky Fried Chicken, were not as interesting to Iranian Internet users in the past seven days. However, it could be safely concluded that when they also list Iran as a possible franchise country, they too will see increased Internet hits from the Islamic Republic.

Outside of the food categories, Apple Electronics Co., maker of the much prized iPhone, also saw a surge of interest, most probably on the back of reports circulating in English and Persian about a possible local distributor.