Here at Hook we spend our time going out and talking to young people about the big Kids Trends in 2019, getting their perspective on the media landscape now, finding out what they are really interested in, and how they navigate through these spaces.
In our latest research we found an array of exciting emerging trends in the kids space and we wanted to share a few of those with you here!
So what are the big kids trends in 2019?
Best Friend accounts on Snapchat and TikTok
Bored of trying to come up with your next social media post alone? Or dreading trying to pull together a snappy one liner to pull in those extra likes?
Why not do as the kids are doing: ditch your personal account and create one with your best friend. After all, two heads are better than one!
“Me and my best friend Maya, we have a joint account on TikTok. It’s a ‘best friend account’ basically and we learn dances off there.” (Girl, 11 – London)
As one of our interviewees informed us, coupling up with a friend and sharing joint posts also ensures double the exposure and (with a little luck) double the likes: “You get more likes with a joint account because I have friends, and my friends have friends from other schools, so all of them combined makes a lot of friends” (Girl, 12 – Manchester)
On TikTok, particularly, this two-for-one sales pitch seems very popular, and young audiences can see real examples in their feeds of accounts that leverage this double-ness successfully: the joint account run by twins Lisa and Lena Mantler is currently the most-followed account on TikTok with 32.2 million followers.
And why stop at one joint account? It seems as long as you can regularly get together to lip-sync a song or do some synchronised choreography you can have multiple joint accounts on the go at once.
“People have joint accounts with their friends and with their sisters. I had one with my sister before and I’ve had another one with a friend.” (Girl, 11 – London)
Ultimately best friend accounts inject fun into social media. They are a way for kids to enjoy social media as a collective, adding another dimension to what is often considered an isolating, siloed medium.
Kids Trends in 2019: Dramatised, Daily YouTube videos (Game Master & Project Zorgo)
Both channels centre around themes of cyber hacking and spying, drawing in millions of viewers to watch groups of YouTubers attempting to foil (or implement, in the case of Zorgo) secret plots – such as Zorgo’s plan to bring down YouTube.
“I watch the Project Zorgo channel because even though I don’t like them, I want to figure out some of their plans.” Boy, 7 – Manchester
These dramatised episodes are jam packed with stories of kidnappings, spying and double agents, but it seems the biggest draw is the daily, interactive elements offered to subscribers: each day, viewers are encouraged to assist in cracking codes, interact with other accounts and solve puzzles with the cast through commenting on posts.
These fascinating shows create powerful, immersive worlds that kids can believe in. Woven into kids’ lives (and integrally tied into the platforms they use), they make a fascinating case study that we’ll certainly be paying much more attention to in future.
Fortnite: it’s a clan sport
Online gaming is a lucrative business in today’s world and not just for the manufacturers. ‘Esport’ competitions – organised multiplayer tournaments for video gamers – now offer the average gamer an opportunity to win big. The ‘prize pots’ that can be won at these tournaments are often valued in the millions. The Fortnite World Cup for example, which finished at the end of July, is worth an estimated $130 million.
However, for those of you who were contemplating competing alone I’m afraid the odds – considering there are an estimated 165 million esport enthusiasts world wide – weren’t in your favour.
Enter the role of the Fortnite clan.
Clans are a group of Fortnite players that regularly play together. They can be composed of just a few players, or can stretch to tens of thousands; the bigger the clan, the better the members’ chances of making it into the top leagues and – if you have clan peers willing to divvy up prizes – taking home some winnings.
The predicted total brand investment in esports is $1.4 billion by 2021
Want to join a clan? The crème de la crème of gamers are scouted in gameplay or through their streaming channels by major teams that are often owned by esport companies. For regular players, you can start your own clan or even head to ‘lookingforaclan.com‘ – think match.com for video gamers. If you opt to join a clan they may have entrance requirements or initiations that the prospective player must pass in order to join.
Aside from the initial hassle of getting into one, it is no wonder that ‘clans’ have attracted the attention of kids all around the world – they offer a challenge, a sense of community and the chance to rewards.
This wide spread excitement amongst users (and the reaction to this excitement by brands) is ensuring the future of the esport industry – the predicted total brand investment in esports is $1.4 billion by 2021. In the meantime, facilities designed to train esport gamers in hopes of breeding the next generation of stars and top clans are under construction in the US and China.
As kids today wait for the unveiling of these institutions and watch professional gamers (such as Richard Tyler Blevins – better known as ‘Ninja’) attract global attention with his monthly earnings of $500,000, will ‘professional gamer’ replace ‘explorer’, ‘footballer’, ‘superhero’ when we ask Gen Alpha what they’d like to be when they grow up? And are clans the way to make that dream a reality?
Kids are starting to use the word ‘Content’
Lots of the kids trends in 2019 that we’ve explored so far have focused on content – but this last one’s more about behaviours. Sure, kids of today are more digitally savvy than they ever have been (we all know this) – but when did eleven-year-olds start using marketing language to explain why they like their favourite Youtubers?
Online stars now casually drop business jargon into their videos: words such as ‘content’ – that those of us working in the media industry may be comfortable dropping into regular conversation, but which historically have been absent from the speech of young people: “What makes a good Youtuber? They have to produce good content, so if they do one video about something and the other video is really boring it doesn’t have the same effect other YouTubers have. If they produce all round good content every time, that’s what I think a good YouTuber is.” (Boy,12 – London)
So, what does the adoption of this business lingo say about kids today? It implies that they are aware to some degree that YouTube is a market space.
It also suggests that the quiet rules of marketing in these spaces (ie ‘post regularly to keep kids engaged’), are being heard quite loudly by young consumers. As more and more kids see ‘YouTuber’ as a viable career path (in the States, twice as many young people now want to be YouTubers as Astronauts) –
Looking at Kids Trends in 2019 and beyond
As an audience insight agency, Hook are always on the hunt for the next big trend in the youth (and broader media) space. If you’re interested in finding out more about our work (and how we might be able to help your brand better connect with these young and dynamic audiences) get in touch with us today!