Russia’s Face App attracts more than 100,000 searches in South Africa

CAPE TOWN – South African internet users have generated more than 100,000 search queries for Face App on Wednesday, while only generating 50,000 for Mandela Day.

However, privacy experts have warned of possible threat. 

The two-year-old Russian made app saw the Internet going crazy as it went viral with users posting their aged likenesses on social media in the #faceappchallenge. The app uses artificial intelligence to create a rendering of what users might look like in a few decades. 

Privacy experts, however, warned that the app may pose a threat to users’ privacy as it stores photos on its servers, with US Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, appealing to the FBI to investigate the app. 

In other top searches on Google this week, Johnny Clegg garnered more than 500, 000 search queries on Tuesday as the news of his death broke. The ‘White Zulu’ of Juluka and Savuka fame was an internationally acclaimed musician who was also an important figure in the fight against Apartheid. 

Tributes to Clegg have been flooding media and social media over the past couple of days. 

More than 200,000 search queries were generated for Mark Batchelor on Monday after the former soccer star was gunned down outside his Olivedale home in Gauteng. 

Former president Jacob Zuma also garnered more than 100,000 search queries on Monday as he made his first and much anticipated appearance in the Zondo Commission on state capture.  

On Sunday Macdonald Ndou picked up more than 10,000 search queries after reports of the Muvhango actor’s arrest made the rounds. Ndou was held on various charges including extortion and kidnapping. The Hawks have reportedly provisionally withdrawn charges against the TV star. 

Last Friday, South Africans produced more than 20,000 search queries for Duduzane Zuma as the Randburg Magistrates Court found him not guilty of culpable homicide. In February 2014. 

Zuma was involved in a car crash that claimed the life of Phumzile Dube when his vehicle crashed into the taxi she was travelling in.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. 

Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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