Q1 2019 Kids Trends: Momo, memes and magic

Three adult platforms (YouTube, TikTok and Fortnite) continue to influence 2019’s kids trends.

At the end of last year we asked the kids that use PopJam, our safe-social platform for under-13s, to predict what they thought the biggest trends of 2019 would be. They predicted that Fortnite, TikTok and YouTube would continue to dominate and they do, influencing all of the key trends we’re seeing in Q1.

Unicorns are on their way out, and the time is nigh for a replacement (the industry is backing sloths and llamas, but I think this is a good time for cute reptiles and hedgehogs).

We’ve already blogged about the trend of digital dolls, with Gacha and Dollify, but the biggest patterns we’re seeing in 2019 so far are:

Momo

The Momo Challenge, thought to be encouraging kids to self-harm or commit suicide, has been quashed by a number of charities and safeguarding groups.

Interested in kids trends? Every month we create a Kids Insights Report, digging into all the trends in our highly-engaged PopJam community. If you’d like to check out this month’s report, click here.

There’s been no evidence of Momo videos or images on WhatsApp or intercut on YouTube content. Instead, parents, schools and concerned groups made Momo go viral by creating panic and messaging images and warnings to each other. Seeing adults in a panic is scary for kids and Momo has been given urban legend status, which is terrifying – and just a little bit exciting – for some.

Our filters on PopJam stop kids discussing Momo, but when asked what they’re talking about at school, they said ‘that scary thing!’ or ‘the creepy viral thing’. YouTube still features plenty of Momo content and challenge videos, with many creators cashing in on the scare.

Memes

Many of the memes that PopJammers are loving originate on the TikTok app, which has become the go-to destination for very short-form video content (RIP Vine). Endless compilations of this content exist on YouTube. Because so many of the memes are created through TikTok, or inspired by it, we’re seeing more song and dance-related memes such as the Hit or Miss Challenge, Triangle Dance Challenge or Rockefeller Street, featuring react or duet videos.

We saw lots of Fortnite dance content hit YouTube in 2018, inspired by the games’ emotes. Season 8 of Fortnite has brought new skins and moves, but nothing has been as popular as the Floss or the Hype just yet.

Currently, other memes popular with PopJammers include the Pause Challenge and Moto Moto, which comes from a scene from Madagascar 2. Will this cast get the same alarming mythic meme status as Shrek?

Magic

The world of Harry Potter continues to be enjoyed digitally this year, and not just within Pottermore and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Sneak previews of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite may be partly responsible, but PopJam has been full of magic, with PopJammers creating fan art and roleplaying, as well as sharing the desire for HP merch and which houses they want to be in. PopJam is the perfect platform for kids to continue the Harry Potter adventure online, as it’s a safe, creative community where kids can celebrate and share what they love.

The Harry Potter series continue their dominance as kids’ favourite books, from World Book Day costumes to special LEGO. It’s a brand they’re still exploring, yet feel nostalgic about. They can use it for their self-discovery, but enjoy as part of a family.

Harry Potter is explored on a whole new level through online activities and videos – and PopJammers love a number of Harry Potter memes on YouTube this year including Harry Potter TikTok compilations and the Harry Potter rap.

Lots of other things that kids are talking about – such as Roblox, slime (still hanging in there) and football are enjoyed with additional content on YouTube or through social media.

Despite the fact that they are neither designed nor intended for kids, YouTube, TikTok and Fortnite have very much become the Holy Trinity of kids’ trends for Q1 2019, acting as the creators, inspiration or platform for popular video meme content. All the top trends touch one of the three platforms at some point in their journey to kids’ virality.

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Craig Donaghy is Head of Community for PopJam, the largest kid-safe social content platform.