At the end of Q2, it’s clear that Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement are having a huge impact on the lives of PopJammers everywhere.
PopJam is our safe-social content-sharing platform for under-13s; a moderated space where kids can find and connect with the brands they love, as well as draw, play and explore. Thanks to this connected community, we’re able to ask kids questions and get answers without collecting any personal information.
Here are PopJammers’ biggest trends for Q2:
In April we ran a blog on How the PopJam Community is reacting to Covid-19. Kids were feeling a mixture of caution and excitement, but many were experiencing boredom. PopJammers were missing family (grandparents and cousins in particular), friends, school (mostly for their friends) and shopping.
We asked PopJammers what they wanted to buy when shops were open and their main callouts were clothes, food and toys. New clothes are an important way to express your identity, but it’s not just to do with trends – at this age many kids will be growing quickly and need new clothes often. We know kids do influence meal choices, but they miss being in charge of their own snacks during the day.
Many PopJammers said they had been keeping themselves busy on PopJam, Roblox and YouTube, as well as doing school work and playing on their phones. Family and friends have been keeping them happy, along with dogs, cats, siblings and their phones. Being AT school and NOT at school has been making them happy too!
PopJammers who have returned to school report different experiences, with changes to attendance, play time and work. The ‘new normal’ is definitely more new than normal.
“I went back and it’s definitely not like normal school but my school Isn’t making us do actual work as they can’t mark our books.
“I am going to school tomorrow (Thursday). I am reallllllllyyyyyy excited to go because I will only go to school for 2 days a week and it has always been my dream.“
The effect of coronavirus and lockdown is also more evident in their artwork; their drawings of characters and Gacha edits are now more likely to wear face masks.
Black Lives Matter
In May 2020, there were 3,093 mentions of BLM or Black Lives Matter. In June 2020, there were 38,477. Even if taking into account kids who are using these tags as a way to get their content seen, it’s clear that this movement has had a big impact on kids, and they want to talk about it in their way and in their space.
Children need to react to the world around them, and having human moderators on PopJam means we are able to serve them by allowing them to share posts, thoughts and art around Black Lives Matter in a safe, digital space. This means ensuring that all comments and content are age-appropriate for the platform (not graphic or scary) and that posts are intended to educate and share art, feelings or solidarity.
Experienced human moderators can sensitively watch for memes (that are often created for adult social media, so not ideal for kids), posts and comments under posts. Responses to posts are equally as important to moderate. Kids teaching each other is important, but we always watch out for fake news and disinformation.
PopJammers are drawing the Black Lives Matter symbol, posters of characters and creating Original Characters, often featuring messages of equality and support. Those who can’t draw use stickers or Gacha edits to express themselves.
“✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 Black lives matter.
Just so you know, blm is a trend but it should not be treated that way. Even after it stops “trending” keep speaking up. Fighting for equality should not be trendy.”
Trends circulate differently when kids aren’t in the playground, or even able to visit the shops to see the latest offerings. That said, it’s clear that Q2 has been huge for TikTok (the Renegade and Savage dance trends are particular favourites with PopJammers). Roblox has continued to be a big deal, with Adopt Me (the pet roleplay game) and Piggy (scary game that’s a crossover of Peppa Pig and Granny) proving to be popular. Animal Crossing and the Nintendo Switch have been desirable for PopJammers, especially during lockdown.
Other social media platforms also provide PopJammers with entertaining content. Some of the most popular YouTube content is TikTok compilations, with many kids allowed on YouTube by parents who consider TikTok too adult. Life Hacks are proving popular, as well as funny videos, The Norris Nuts, Flamingo and Gacha videos.
Predicting Q3 might require a crystal ball, but PopJammers will continue to play and explore online as they return to school for the new year. Even though life after lockdown might mean different things in different territories, the ‘new normal’ for many families is increased and shared family online time.