Exclusive data from Reddit suggests that as the Delta variant spread and breakthrough cases, so too will conversations about hobbies at home such as cooking, crafts, and gaming. Is the world preparing to go back into lockdown mode?
Reddit has seen an influx of discussions related to cooking and crafts. At the same time, the support group-like subreddit r / covid19_testimonials saw a 3516% increase in subscribers in the week of August 15-21 – reflecting the acceleration in Covid cases. In the US, Covid-related hospital admissions topped 100,000 for the first time since January, according to data released by the US Department of Health last week.
Burgeoning activity in hobby-related Reddit communities could suggest that after a summer of socializing and reconnecting, people may spend more time at home as the pandemic continues to raise its ugly head. Here’s what you need to know.
Forge new talks
Along with the activity peaks at r / covid19_testimonials as well as conversations related to remote work, the number of conversations about hobbies on Reddit has increased. In particular, the commitment to topics such as sport, pop culture as well as music and food is increasing. In particular, there are lots of tips, hacks, and discussions about food and cooking.
Activity at r / eatcheapandhealthy saw unique views increase by 265% on July 21, thanks in part to a popular post on food pairings that require minimal effort. Meanwhile, the super-niche r / grilledcheese rose 1,300% on July 20 after a viral post by a Redditor challenged the community’s legitimacy for containing posts about “melts” – à la the internet lover “is.” a ‘hotdog a sandwich?’ Debate.
Similarly, the platform has seen a flurry of art-related activities. The unique views of the Arts & Crafts stakeholder group as a whole rose 15% between August 15 and August 21. “We’re definitely seeing hobbies like these growing at home, along with a desire to share them in communities of equally passionate people,” Dan Gould, head of partner insights and research at Reddit, told The Drum.
And Redditors are sure to find these communities. The r / drawing subreddit’s unique views within the stakeholder group increased 232% on Aug. 14 when a user posted an image of a drawing that required approximately 30 hours of study and lasted three nights. Meanwhile, the platform’s Photography interest group saw even faster growth than the Arts & Crafts group over the same period, posting a 22% increase in unique views thanks to increased activity in subreddits such as r / colorizedhistory and r / architectureporn.
Cady believes many of the trends on Reddit are likely related to the pandemic and its impact. “[People] I want to show something for the time we’ve been apart – a new skill, a new hobby or a new look, ”he says.
However, there are other factors driving the influx of activity in Reddit’s hobby communities as well, Cady says. “I would consider the rise in discussions of arts and crafts on Reddit as one of many early signals of the rise of the creator economy. There are many cultural forces that encourage people to look at the role of creativity in their lives and careers in ways they may never have considered before. Reddit is where people connect to become a better version of themselves instead of trying to showcase the best version of themselves. That creates an excellent learning environment, especially for handicrafts. “
In the midst of a transformation
Still, it’s hard to ignore the oversized role Covid has played in the way people interact online and the content that drives engagement. Cady believes these Covid-related trends paint a much bigger picture. “My instinct is that some of the changes that are taking place within this Covid window will determine market behavior for years or even decades to come,” he says. “Every single aspect of our life is going through some kind of transformation. In some cases, this transformation is an acceleration of an evolution that has long been underway, such as digital work and play spaces. In other cases, this transformation is an adjustment to the future that we expect, such as a growing interest in home gardening and personal health. “
In the business world, marketing should respond accordingly, says Cady. “There has never been a better time to introduce people to a new product or service. People are open to changing their habits and their environment, which offers a tremendous opportunity for brands to make meaningful contributions to these changes. “
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