The JustAnswer 2021 Year End Curiosity Report

By laura.cox

Posted in: 

 Answersin2021

2021, which started out with much of the world still in semi-lockdown, pre-vaccine and mid-pandemic, had many people turning to JustAnswer’s online experts for help with everything from their legal matters, taxes, health and pet concerns. We fielded more than 

3.1M questions (3,190,251 to be exact) on the JustAnswer platform from January 1st - December 20th, 2021! We drilled down for a deeper look into what was asked – and how that compared to 2020 – for an analysis that reveals a lot about what America worried about last year. 

 

What's Hot, What's Not

Homeopathy, Etiquette, Antique Appraisals, Financial Software and Dream Interpretation were among the topics that saw the biggest year-over-year growth on JustAnswer this year. Some of the more interesting highlights from the data:  

  • Etiquette questions surged 65% and Wedding questions rose 30%

With social gatherings picking back up post-vaccine, especially around the holidays, people had many questions about navigating the new social terrain as we “got back out there.” Similarly, people got back to planning in-person nuptials in 2021, stimulating a new array of questions related to planning, logistics and relationship challenges surged in 2021 accordingly. 

  • Dream interpretation questions rose 19% 

In a year of continued uncertainty, more people seem to turn to expert sources for help translating their unconscious thoughts into daily life meaning. 

  • Homeopathy questions increased 108% – but so did Pharmacy questions (+48%) 

2021 found people more interested than ever in natural health and wellness remedies per the increase in homeopathy on JustAnswer. However, questions about traditional drugs and medications also rose 48%. 

  • Laptops (+56% ), Smartphones (+169% ) & Financial Software (+175%) gained steam – but Gaming System questions dropped 32% 

Remote work remained the reality for a huge number of us in 2021, and the number of questions related to work-oriented technology on JustAnswer reflected this reality. At the same time, it seems that increased in-person socializing post-vaccine could be dimming the impulse to retreat into a dark bedroom for video games. 

  • Homework help questions fell 22% 

As schools opened back up for in-person learning, students (and parents) were less apt to seek help from online experts with class assignments or tricky math problems. 

  • Boats questions declined 16% - but RV questions grew by 17%

People still took to the outdoors for Covid-safe forms of recreation last year, but it seems RVs maintained and grew in popularity, while boating lost its luster. 

  • Firearms questions declined 39% 

While statistics show that handgun sales rose during the early days of shelter-in-place and during the 2020 rioting, JustAnswer saw a decline in questions for its firearms experts this year. 

WhatsHotWhatsNot

 

Top Trending Questions by Expert Categories: 

From the broader perspective of overall expert categories on JustAnswer, a few trends were particularly evident this year:

  • People have more pets – and/or worry about their pets more than ever. 
    • As in 2020, veterinarians on JustAnswer saw a record number of questions (approximately 300K) this year. People are definitely becoming more comfortable with online veterinarian care, especially given widely reported veterinarian shortages. But it was not just cats and dogs that people worried about this year. Actually, we saw the biggest increase in questions about bird health (up 48%) and horse health (up 42%) in 2021. And in the related “Animal Behavior” category, Reptile questions rose a healthy 17% over 2020. 

 

  • More at-home time continued to spark interest in appraisals. 
    • The Marie Kondo-inspired trend of clearing the clutter continued in 2021, sending a record number of people to JustAnswer appraisal specialists for an expert opinion on the value of their “stuff.” The category overall got more than 230K questions (21% growth YOY), with antique questions in particular surging 53% over 2020

 

  • Remote work sent folks seeking online tech and gadget support. 
    • With much of the world still working from home this year, it’s perhaps not surprising that the “Computers” experts at JustAnswer received 22% more questions in this category than in 2020. Within this category, people worried most about: 
      • Financial software - up 175% 
      • Programming - up 63% 
      • Laptops - up 56% 
    • Similar to the “Computers” category, the rising number of questions for Consumer Electronics experts on JustAnswer likely reflects the continued increasing reliance on mobile tech tools for remote work and distance learning, at least through the first half of 2021. This is reflected through the subcategories that saw the biggest jump in question volume here: 
      • Smartphones - up 169% 
      • Office equipment - up 96%

 

TopCategories

 

They Asked What??  

This year yielded its share of slightly random, off-the-wall, sometimes shocking and/or amusing questions on the platform. Here are just a few of our favorites: 

 

Trending Topics

“What is the closest thing to real magic?”

“If cloning were perfected, would it be considered immoral?”

"My hamsters have escaped and they starting fighting. One has a cut on it. What should I do ?

“How would a large snake consume a human?”

“What was the number-one song in 1966?” 

“I had a dream about a ghost choking me. What does this mean?”

“What were the measurements of Elaine's backpack purse on Seinfeld?”

“My pet skunk ate chocolate. What should I do?”

“Is it true that Waffle Houses are used as indicators of weather severity because they basically never close?”

“Who is bigger: U2 or Rolling Stones?”

“Can potato salad be frozen?”