Sci & Tech

Top 10 Search Queries of Iranian Web Users in 2016

Also trending were ecommerce, media and entertainment
Yalda, celebrated on the winter solstice nationwide in Iran, was one of the top search terms in December.  (Photo: Mehdi Motamed, ISNA)  Yalda, celebrated on the winter solstice nationwide in Iran, was one of the top search terms in December.  (Photo: Mehdi Motamed, ISNA)

As the world ushered in 2017 with a new start and a new way to go, Financial Tribune takes a look at what transpired over the past 12 months in the Internet in Iran and what Iranians were actually searching for.  

Some of the top trend search terms on Google included messaging applications, ecommerce, media and entertainment. All the terms were written in Persian. Following is a complete list.

1. Census

The top search term in 2016 in Iran was the word census written in Persian.

The eighth round of National Population and Housing Census began September 24 and ended on November 15.

The first phase was the online registration; it began on September 24 and ended October 21. Some 11.1 million households participated in the online census.  That is almost 37.2 million people, accounting for 46.4% of the population.

The head of the Statistical Center of Iran Omid Ali Parsa said "the turnout is unprecedented,” the Tribune quoted him as saying at the time.

Up until 2011, the national census was conducted every 10 years, but was later decided to be held every five years.

2. Mobogram

The second top term of the year fell in the realm of technology.

Mobogram is an unofficial messaging web application based on the web version of popular messaging app Telegram and was created by local developers. Mobogram was released early in 2016; the fact that it was in the Persian language helped it to quickly become popular among Iranian users.   

3. Avval Market

Avval Market is an online shop for Android applications, games and audio books. It offers both paid and free content. The website was widely advertised on some popular TV channels in Iran. This is the main reason why it climbed the list of search term ranking.   

4. Rabe'e Oskooyi

As anywhere in the world, Iranians too are fascinated with celebrity gossip and drama which explains why Rabe'e Oskooyi, an actress of Iranian-descent is the fourth top searched term of the year.

After 25 years of working in Iran, the actress left her homeland in search of greener pastures overseas. She joined the foreign-based GEM TV, which is broadcast in Persian, YJC reported in October.   

After disputes with management she left the television group and released a statement about the ill treatment and insulting behaviors of her employers.

5. 6. 7. Telegram

Search queries five, six and seven had to do with the most popular foreign messaging application in Iran: Telegram.

Users had searched the terms Telegram channel and deleting Telegram account. The latter was repeated with two different spellings.

Recent data shows that the top messaging app in Iran, Telegram Messenger, now has 170,000 Persian channels, 11,000 of which have more than 5,000 members. An estimated 45 million Iranians actively use the app.

8. Calendar for the Iranian Year 1395

Among the top search terms coming from Iran was the Iranian calendar for the year we are currently in. The Persian calendar year begins in mid-March.   

9. Shahrzad

Probably the most popular Iranian TV series of the year was Shahrzad. Named after the main protagonist, Shahrzad is a romantic and historical tale which is set in the post 1953 coup d'état Iran.

The series is written by Hassan Fathi and Naghmeh Samini and directed by the former. The first season premiered in the past year for home video networks but much controversy has followed as to whether or not its production should continue.

While teaser posters for season two went up around town announcing the release of the second season, rumors spread on social media suggesting that there was dispute among the producers and that production might be delayed.    

10. Farsi Telegram

The last item on the top ten trending search terms in Iran also had to do with online messaging.   

Targeted at users who are not fluent at English, local developers created a Persian version of Telegram called Farsi Telegram.

Meanwhile the top trending search term in the month of December was Donya Fannizadeh, the noted Iranian puppeteer was best known for her act with kids TV show 'Kolah Ghermezi.' She passed away on December 28 after a long illness. Other top searches in December include 'Yalda' the longest night of the year (December 20) which is celebrated nationwide in Iran, Christmas and 'Salaam Mumbai' a 2016 Iranian-Indian drama film.

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