Boy using smartphone

In the summer months, the biggest trends across popular social video platforms reflected the impact of an unprecedented year. 

With kids and families spending more time at home due to Covid-19, many are turning to their devices for entertainment, with views surging across popular social video platforms. To meet this increased demand for content, kids and family influencers have been forced to get creative with the types of content they are able to make from the home. This creativity is reflected in the latest trending videos from popular YouTubers and TikTokers. Not surprisingly, there were fewer travel-related posts this summer, with entertaining and often humorous quarantine-related videos taking precedence instead. 

It’s uncertain how long the consequences of coronavirus will last, but the resulting trends are sure to influence those we’ll see in the coming months. By understanding what has recently been popular with young audiences, you can better optimize your current social video strategy. To help you create more engaging content for under-16 audiences, we’ve broken down some of the biggest themes we’ve seen this summer.

Trends on YouTube: routine activities, back-to-school, and family challenges

Kids craved normalcy: In the second half of 2020, kids got creative with indoor activities. With people not easily able to enjoy routine activities, such as going to the store or going out for a meal, content creators took the experience to kids’ screens – and kids loved watching. For example, the “We Opened A…” trend featured creators building their own pretend McDonald’s or Starbucks restaurants for siblings and parents to “drive-through.” Most kids went all out, creating staff uniforms, food prep, and even food packaging! Other creators competed to build pretend stores for make-believe shopping experiences. 

Kids and family content creators also gave viewers a glimpse into their daily tasks, covering everything from morning routines to back-to-school. With the limitations of coronavirus causing adults and kids alike to dramatically alter their day-to-day schedules, viewers were more interested than ever to see how their favorite online influencers were adjusting. These videos provided a sense of connection and relief.


Back-to-school was still important: Things looked a little different this September, as not every child went back to school in person. But the usual back-to-school trends still re-emerged. Regardless of whether kids are studying at home or in the classroom, they still look to the internet to inspire everything from back-to-school fashion to supplies. So content creators took to the shops with masks on, sharing shopping challenges and preparing outfits for the next school day. Savvy brands used the opportunity to integrate their products into these videos. 


Challenges entertained families at home: The “Last to” challenge remained popular among viewers this summer. In this challenge, kids and families determine who will be the last to take a specific action; examples include being the last to fall asleep, the last to leave a room, or the last to start eating a favorite food. Challenges like these provided some much needed comic relief for kids and families.

Trends on TikTok: global movements, 2020 reflections, and transformations

Creators contributed to global movements: For 13+ audiences on TikTok, many of the social movements originating across the globe were also trending topics. Black Lives Matter was at the forefront of many creators’ conversations, showing young audiences’ desire to be part of a greater purpose. Similar dialouges were also seen on Instagram and YouTube, with many creators pledging to donate ad revenue to political and social movements.


Social media was an outlet to reflect on a stressful year: The trending hashtag #soover2020 featured TikTokers lowlights from the year in a lighthearted fashion – relatable mentions included “didn’t travel” and “didn’t graduate”. Some creators looked on the bright side, sharing the positive aspects of lockdown and the things that they have learned in the last few months, or recapping 2020 as a whole using the #inayear hashtag.

Social trends preview

TikTokers loved transformations: TikTok’s transformations were a key trend to watch in 2020. Speedy transitions showcasing stylish outfit changes, makeovers, or different facial expressions were used to create fun and engaging pieces of content.


By staying up to date with what under-16 audiences are talking about and engaging with online, brands can ensure their social video content will be relevant to young audiences. Need help getting started? We can work with you to reach kids and families through authentic branded content that’s safe, compliant, and aligned to the latest trends.

Want to learn more? Get in touch today.