TikTok, Roblox and video games

New Kaspersky Safe Kids the research revealed what children were interested in during 2020-2021. Over the past year, their interest has expanded to the categories of ‘software, audio and video’ and ‘e-commerce’, while interest in ‘internet communication media’ and ‘computer games’ has declined slightly. TikTok, YouTube i WhatsApp are at the very top of the list of most popular applications. At the same time, TikTok surpassed Instagram with almost double the level of popularity.

It turned out that 2020 was one of the most unusual years for modern children. The pandemic has changed many common life situations around the world, including education, hanging out with friends and family, recreation and entertainment. Kaspersky analyzed anonymous data, such as search queries, the most popular Android applications, and requested website categories that Kaspersky Safe Kids users voluntarily shared, to investigate how children’s interests and needs have changed in the new environment.

The most popular website categories among children were ‘software, audio, video’ (44.38%), ‘online communication media’ (22.08%) and ‘computer games’ (13.67%). Among the most popular applications, YouTube has a big advantage – the service is still the most popular service for streaming video content among children around the world. In second place is the WhatsApp messenger, and in third place is the popular social network TikTok. Four games were also among the top 10: Brawl Stars, Roblox, Among US and Minecraft.

Children are very active in listening to and watching music videos on YouTube – its share in searches for music genres and videos is 17.35%. Numerous ‘trend’ videos are also represented in the statistics – ‘pop it and simple dimple’ and ‘ASMR’ account for 4.43% of queries. This year, searches related to video game maker Gacha Life also stood out at the very top of the interest of children from all over the world, with a share of 4%.

In terms of musical tastes, in addition to traditional leaders such as K-POP bands BTS and BLACKPINK, and performers Ariana Grande, Billy Ailish and Travis Scott, another music genre, such as ‘phonk’, has become popular. There is also a trend towards ‘creative’ videos – more and more searches for rhythms, samples and lessons on creating music in various programs have started to appear at the top of the list. At the same time, TikTok remains the main music trendsetter for children.

Cartoons make up half (50.21%) of all children’s video searches worldwide. The most popular are Lady Bug and Super Cat, Gravity Falls and Peppa Pig. In second place were various TV shows – the most common search in English was The Voice Kids. When it comes to movies and TV series, the most popular trailers were Godzilla vs Kong, Justice League by Zak Snyder and Disney + mini series WandaVision. Netflix also continues to attract the attention of more and more children – the most frequent searches on the platform were for Cobra Kai and now the cult series Stranger Things.

TikTok is still the undisputed leader among children, but at the same time, the perception of this social network began to change. Now it is no longer just a social network for clips and playback, because an increasing number of educational and creative content has started to appear on the platform. At the same time, to create a TikTok video, one person must do the work of a cameraman, actor, director, and the entire film crew. All this develops skills that can not only be useful to children in the future, but could also lead them to choose that profession.

In the case of video games, the most popular among children are Minecraft (22.84%), Fortnite (6.73%), Among Us (3.80%), Brawl Stars (6.34%) – which has recently attracted the attention of children and it is very popular – as well as the favorite game Roblox (3.82%). At the same time, the most played game in the top 10 for almost all countries is Roblox. Of all the regions, children from Kazakhstan have become leaders in visiting sites dedicated to computer games – 26.01%. In second place were children from Great Britain (19.40%). But we see a completely different picture in India, where children rarely visit sites dedicated to video games from PC devices (only 5.08%).

“Today, children grow up with gadgets in their hands from the earliest age, so they adapt to the digital space much faster and master new technologies. We noticed that TikTok became one of the main networks among children in a short time and continues to attract their attention. At the same time, YouTube has not lost its position and is still the leader in popularity among children, in part because of the great variety of videos, from ‘let-plays’ videos documenting video game play, to educational lectures and clips. Understanding and analyzing children’s interests on the Internet helps us pay attention to the issue of safety.

By knowing what kind of music a child listens to, who his favorite bloggers are or what games he plays, parents can strengthen their relationships with their children. For example, they could record a TikTok video together. It will also enable parents to help their children protect themselves from potential online dangers, ”commented Anna Larkina, a web analytics expert at Kaspersky.

In order to provide children with a positive online experience, Kaspersky suggests that parents:

  • Learn more about their children’s interests.
  • They surf the internet and learn together. To see where their children spend time online and explore what are the best ways to keep them safe.
  • They explain that sensitive information is shared only via messenger and only with people they know in real life.
  • They consider downloading parental control apps and discuss this topic with their children to explain how those apps work and why they are needed to keep children safe online.
  • They spend more time talking to children about online security measures. Tell your children what should not be published on the Internet under any circumstances and explain to them why this is so.

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