Here’s this week’s list of rapidly trending topics, insights and analysis.
Influence engineering is the practice of creating algorithms that are designed to influence user choices at scale.
Specifically, these algorithms apply behavioral science techniques (like “anchoring”) to promote specific online behaviors.
Notably, Gartner recently named influence engineering one of the four emerging technologies expected to significantly impact digital advertising.
Influence engineering is also seeing early applications in a number of different industries, including healthcare, autonomous driving and e-learning.
Influence engineering is part of the Emotion AI meta trend.
Searches for “emotion AI” have increased by 525% over the past five years.
Emotion AI describes artificial intelligence capable of recognizing human emotions.
Specifically, the technology turns human emotions into data that can be used to provide more personalized experiences.
This technology will become more mainstream, considering that the market for AI-powered emotion recognition is forecasted to grow 4x in the next eight years.
Beyond Verbal, Evrmore and Emotech are trending emotion AI startups.
Peptide serums are peptide-infused skincare serums.
Peptide serums are emerging as a popular facial care treatment because they stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation and help treat acne.
Growing demand for peptide serums can be partly attributed to a company called The Ordinary.
(Searches for “The Ordinary” have increased 157% over the last five years.)
However, the space is still wide open. A relatively small DTC brand, Eva Naturals, has a peptide serum that generates approximately $67.5K/month on Amazon.
Peptide serums are part of the Peptides For Skincare meta trend.
Internet searches for skincare ingredients are growing 229% YoY.
And peptide is emerging as a mainstream skincare product ingredient (searches for “peptide” have increased by 147% over the last five years).
Peptide creams and peptide moisturizers are examples of trending peptide-based skincare products.
Albumentations is an open source computer vision tool used to enhance the performance of neural networks.
(Specifically, a Python library that aids in image augmentation.)
The tool can customize images (blur, scale, rotate, transpose, etc.) to create a large ML training dataset from a single image.
Albumentations’ selling point, compared to similar alternatives, is speed. In fact, certain tests have ranked Albumentations as the fastest image augmentation tool.
The project has over 12,100 stars on GitHub.
Albumentations is part of the Synthetic Data meta trend.
Interest in “synthetic data” has increased by 625% over the last five years.
Synthetic data is information created artificially via computer simulations rather than gathered from real-world events. It’s typically used to train AI models.
Gathering real-life data to train AI is often expensive and time-consuming.
Which is why developers are increasingly turning to alternative AI training data (such as synthetic data).
Synthetic data is becoming more prevalent in AI training because it can be used without privacy restrictions and can simulate nearly any situation.
Gartner forecasts that by 2030, synthetic data will become the primary data source used to train AI models.
Drop servicing, also known as service arbitrage, is the practice of selling a service that’s ultimately carried out by another party (like a freelancer or agency).
Think of drop servicing as dropshipping, but with services instead of products.
The practice has become a popular side hustle among members of Gen Z.
In fact, videos mentioning “drop servicing” have 16 million views on TikTok.
Drop servicing is part of the TikTok Side Hustles meta trend.
TikTok is becoming home to a large side hustle community.
(Videos about side hustles have over 9 billion views on TikTok alone.)
Many of these side hustles focus on TikTok’s own marketing potential.
That’s because 66% of users are likely to buy something while on the platform. Whereas 50% have bought something after watching a live video.
Here are examples of trending TikTok side hustles:
TikTok trading refers to stock and crypto communities on TikTok.
TikTok courses are digital courses marketed on the platform.
TikTok dropshipping refers to dropshipping businesses that utilize TikTok as their primary marketing channel.
Early bird companies: Holafly (eSIM startup), Tunetank (royalty-free music platform), Slidebean (pitch deck builder), Sentinel AI (deepfake detection software).
Tomorrow’s products today:
Chunky earrings, perimenopause test, toe spacers, kojic acid serum.
Early Bird Companies
Holafly is a global eSIM service for frequent travelers.
An eSIM is a digital SIM card embedded in a mobile device that can connect to any cellular provider with eSIM compatibility.
Specifically, travelers can purchase eSIMs for various countries and regions worldwide, which can be activated and used on compatible devices.
Holafly currently provides eSIMs for 162 countries and has more than 530,000 users.
The startup has raised approximately $190K in funding to date.
Holafly is part of the Travel eSIM meta trend.
Search volume for “travel eSIM” has increased by 4900% over the past 24 months.
eSims allow users to access local networks without needing to physically swap out SIM cards or pay expensive roaming fees.
Travel eSIMs can be purchased online or through mobile apps, and they typically offer competitive pricing compared to traditional roaming plans offered by mobile carriers.
Airalo, Nomad eSIM and Ubigi are trending travel eSIM providers.
Tunetank is a royalty-free music and sound effect platform for creators.
It is very similar to the more popular platform Epidemic Sound.
But unlike Epidemic Sound, Tunetank operates on a freemium business model.
Their free tier gives creators ten free downloads every month.
Additionally, Tunetank recently launched an AI search service.
Creators can describe what the video is about, and Tunetank provides a list of tracks best suited for the video.
Tunetank is part of the Subscription Royalty-Free Music meta trend.
There are approximately 207 million content creators in the world.
And a growing number of creators are turning to subscription-based royalty-free music platforms.
Here are a few trending platforms operating in this space:
Artlist is a digital asset platform that has over 30,000 royalty-free tracks. They add around 150 new tracks every month.
Uppbeat, similarly to Tunetank, leverages a freemium business model that allows creators to download three royalty-free tracks every month.
Soundraw is a subscription-based music generator enabling creators to generate high-quality music assets.
Slidebean is a pitch deck design platform.
They offer deck creation services, but are best known for their AI-powered pitch deck builder.
The builder automatically generates text, designs slides and structures the content based on the input.
According to Slidebean, they have helped startups raise a combined $300M in funding.
They also have a YouTube channel that has more than 450,000 subscribers.
The startup has raised $960K in funding to date.
Slidebean is part of the AI Presentation Generator meta trend.
AI presentation generators are tools that can automatically create presentation slides based on text prompts.
They usually allow users to modify and edit the generated designs through a simple drag-and-drop UI.
Interest in this product category is growing primarily because several startups have recently launched AI-powered presentation generators.
Searches for “AI presentation generator” have increased by 8400% over the past 12 months.
Beautiful.AI, Presentations.AI and Slidesgo are trending AI presentation generators.
Sentinel is a visual deepfake detection software.
Users upload a piece of media, and Sentinel’s AI analyzes for AI forgery.
Then, it determines whether that media is a deepfake or not.
Sentinel then generates a “visualization of manipulation” report that shows why the video was flagged as a deepfake.
The startup has raised $1.4M in funding.
Sentinel AI is part of the Deepfake Detection meta trend.
Advancements in generative AI have made the process of creating deepfakes much easier.
There are now many AI tools that specialize in deepfake creation.
(The term “deepfake AI” has seen a 3970% spike in search volume over the past five years.)
Which is partly why deepfakes are on the rise (some research suggests that the number of deepfake videos has doubled every six months since 2018).
Therefore, this has created growing demand for deepfake detection tools.
(Searches for “deepfake detection” have grown by 2700% over the past five years).
Tomorrow’s Products Today
Chunky earrings are earrings that typically feature bold and large-sized designs.
They are characterized by their substantial size, often incorporating oversized shapes, intricate patterns, or elaborate embellishments.
Interest in these earrings initially grew when Bottega Veneta debuted a set of chunky earrings last winter.
Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber and Lori Harvey are examples of celebrities spotted wearing Bottega Veneta’s earrings.
And this has prompted several companies to release cheaper versions of those earrings.
Which is what’s driving the current interest in this product category.
This pack of chunky earrings brings in approximately $44K/month on Amazon.
Chunky earrings are part of the Chunky Jewelry meta trend.
Search volume for “chunky jewelry” has grown by 144% over the past five years.
Specifically, there is growing demand for chunky gold jewelry.
(Searches for “chunky gold jewelry” have increased by 800% over the past five years.)
Videos about chunky gold jewelry have over 1.1 billion views on TikTok.
Chunky gold rings, chunky gold necklaces and chunky gold bracelets are examples of trending chunky gold jewelry.
Perimenopause tests examine hormonal levels and other biomarkers that may be impacted by perimenopause.
Perimenopause has traditionally been an overlooked phase of menopause.
However, this is changing.
The hashtag #perimenopause has over 510 million views on TikTok, illustrating growing awareness for perimenopause.
And to capitalize on this opportunity, several companies have started offering at-home perimenopause tests.
Perimenopause tests are part of the At-home Lab Testing meta trend.
At-home testing initially took off during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, several companies have launched at-home lab testing kits to diagnose various ailments.
Blood tests, STI tests and food sensitivity tests are examples of trending at-home lab tests.
Overall, the at-home lab testing market is forecasted to reach $2B by 2025.
This at-home food intolerance test kit brings in approximately $20K/month on Amazon.
Toe spacers are designed to be placed between the toes to create space and maintain proper alignment.
They are typically made of soft, flexible materials like silicone or gel.
They can be beneficial for individuals who experience problems like bunions, hammertoes, or overlapping toes.
Toe spacers also help improve toe circulation and provide relief from discomfort or pain caused by conditions like corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails.
This popular pack of toe spacers generates around $140K/month on Amazon.
Toe spacers are part of the Toe Adjustment meta trend.
More than 100 million Americans have bunions (making it one of the most common foot problems in the US).
And toe adjustments are receiving growing attention on social media.
In fact, videos about toe adjustment have over 4.1 billion views on TikTok.
Bunion correctors are trending toe adjustment devices.
(Searches for “bunion corrector” have grown by 150% over the past six months.)
TikTok videos about bunion correctors have over 1.1 billion views.
This highly-rated bunion corrector generates around $290K/month on Amazon.
Kojic Acid Serum
Kojic acid serums are known for their skin-lightening and brightening effects.
(Kojic acid is a natural compound derived from fungi, such as mushrooms and fermented rice.)
The product is often used to treat hyperpigmentation because it slows down melanin production.
Videos about kojic acid serums have over 157 million views on TikTok.
Interest in this product category is growing largely due to the brand Kojie San.
Searches for “Kojie San kojic acid serum” have increased by 300% over the past two years.
This highly-rated kojic acid serum brings in approximately $20K/month on Amazon.
Kojic acid serums are part of the Kojic Acid Skincare meta trend.
Kojic acid is becoming an increasingly popular skincare ingredient because it reduces the production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color (which can help with discoloration, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone).
Examples of trending products in this category include:
Kojic acid lotions are typically thicker in texture than serums, making them better suited for people with more sensitive skin.
Kojic acid powders may provide brightening and hydrating benefits when mixed with other skincare products.
Kojic acid soaps help clean, hydrate and brighten the skin.