Every year, more and more children are discovering the Internet. Since the beginning of the pandemic, children have been spending more time indoors playing online games, watching TV and chatting with friends. Knowing what children search for can help parents understand their needs better and be more supportive as well as protective.
To help with this, Kaspersky’s latest study focused on the interests of children in different areas (games, music and movies/cartoons). It analysed anonymised data, such as search queries and the most popular Android applications as well as website categories, all voluntarily provided by Kaspersky Safe Kids users, to explore children’s key interests and needs between September-November 2021.
Gaming appeared to be the most popular topic on YouTube last autumn, accounting for 28% of all queries. Two newcomers hit the top game searches during 2021 – Genshin Impact and Poppy Playtime. Minecraft came in second with 22%. Additionally, Minecraft’s Let’s Play series turned out to be more popular than Roblox, whose share of requests was 6%. Meanwhile, the leading gaming YouTube channels were MrBeast, EdisonPts and Paluten.
Music-related queries ranked second in terms of the number of YouTube searches, with a share of 19%. The most popular musicians were BTS, BlackPink, Lil Nas X, Ariana Grande and Twice. The most well-known songs were CKay - Love Nwantiti, and two new tracks from one of the BlackPink members, LISA – 'LALISA' and 'MONEY'. Interestingly, K-pop still appears to be popular among children. Thanks to the joint hit My Universe with Korean group BTS, Coldplay, which suddenly rose into the sphere of kids’ interests.
Movies and TV shows
12% of all requests were for films, cartoons and TV shows. Children were most frequently looking for cartoons – the share of queries was 56%. Kids mostly searched for Peppa Pig and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. When it comes to movies, children were mostly interested in Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Toys and gifts
As for search queries related to toys, LEGO and Barbie were the leaders. From the educational sphere, children were most interested in the animal world and experiments in chemistry and physics.
“It is important to understand the global trends of children's interests as well as what exactly kids are passionate about. These days we are seeing that children are not only consuming content, but also trying their hands at creating it. TikTok has inspired youngsters to shoot creative videos, while Korean pop stars teach dance moves through their video clips. Today, children are mastering new technologies and adapting to the digital society faster than adults, and it is more important than ever to educate them on how to engage in these activities safely” comments David Emm, Principal Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky.
The full report is available via this link.
To ensure children have a positive online experience, Kaspersky recommends that parents:
- Involve themselves in children’s online activities from an early age, so it becomes the established norm. As a result, parents can dive deeper into kids’ interests and hobbies, which can help maintain strong relationships.
- Set clear ground rules about what children can and can’t do online and explain why they have been put in place. These will need reviewing as children get older.
- Surf and learn together. See where children spend their time online and explore how to best keep them safe.
- Consider downloading parental control apps and discuss the topic with their children to explain how such apps work and why they need them to stay secure online.
 The data confirms that YouTube is the most popular app among kids. To get to their specific interests, it's worth paying attention to what videos children most often search for on the platform. To do this, Kaspersky also analysed the top 1,000 search queries of little ones during the autumn 2021 to see what videos children most often searched for.
 Children spent the most time on YouTube last autumn – 31% of the total time spent in top 10 popular apps. In second place was WhatsApp with a share of 19%, less than 1 percentage point was TikTok (19%).