Covid-19 Continues to Influence Facebook IQ’s Topics to Watch

The May 2020 list includes cycling shorts, frozen food, virtual art

Conversation on Facebook about virtual art skyrocketed 73.1 times year-over-year UnitoneVector/iStock

Women 25 through 64 and men 65 and up drove conversation about bentonite in May, making it one of Facebook IQ’s Topics to Watch for the month.

Conversation about bentonite and associated topics Aztec, clay, diatomaceous earth, Europe, face Fort Benton (Mt.), medicinal clay, mineral, pesticide and Wyoming was up 3.4 times compared with May 2019 and 1.6 times versus April.

Facebook IQ wrote, “Bentonite is a powder derived from volcanic ash that’s said to have a range of benefits, from digestion to skincare. In the context of skincare, bentonite absorbs oil and draws out bacteria and unwanted substances without causing irritation for most people. Bentonite-based clay masks are growing in popularity, especially among people looking for solutions for acne-prone skin. Some are even buying pure bentonite powder and making do-it-yourself products by mixing the powder with water or apple cider vinegar. People are increasingly seeking out self-care activities at home, as well as embracing natural ingredients, like bentonite, in their beauty routines.”

Facebook IQ
Facebook IQ

Discussion about bodyweight exercise and associated topics burpee, CrossFit, Memorial Day pullup, physical exercise, pushup, resistance band, sit up, squat, strength training was up 2.4 times year-over-year and 0.9 times month-over-month, led by the 25-through-49 age group in both genders.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “Bodyweight exercises, like pullups, pushups and squats, allow people to build muscle without needing fitness equipment. They’ve become increasingly popular during the pandemic, as people look to stay in shape while at home. For people who don’t have weights or the space for more elaborate equipment, these exercises are a great option. Many fitness apps are providing virtual classes on to do these exercises properly. People are finding ways to maintain their fitness and embracing exercises that help them break a sweat without leaving the house.”

Facebook IQ
Facebook IQ

Speaking of exercise, men 18 through 34 drove a 2.1 times jump versus last May in conversation about cycling shorts and a 1.3 times uptick from April.

Associated topics included clothing, cotton, crop top, fashion, leggings, pajamas, skirt, spandex, trousers and T-shirt.

Facebook IQ wrote, “Designed for bicyclists and popularized in the 1990s, cycling shorts are now making a splash among younger generations who aren’t necessarily riding on two wheels. These tight-fitting bottoms are generally made from stretchy and sweat-wicking materials, making them comfortable for both working out and working from home. People are pairing them with other athletic wear or even dressing them up with formal apparel. Some celebrities and influencers are sporting these styles and sharing their looks online, boosting their popularity. While cycling shorts are by no means new, they’re becoming a fashion staple as people choose clothing options that are versatile and comfortable.”

Facebook IQ
Facebook IQ

Talk about frozen food was up 3.5 times year-over-year and 0.9 times month-over-month, led by women of all age groups.

Associated topics included chicken food, French fries, fruit, ice cream, lunch, potato, refrigerator, snack and vegetable.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “Frozen foods are known for their convenience. However, they’ve typically been critiqued for their limited nutritional value when compared with foods cooked with fresh ingredients. Brands have recently revamped their frozen entrees and sides to include healthier choices. Some have expanded their offerings to include gluten-free, low-carb and vegan options. In light of the pandemic, even restaurants are innovating in this space, offering customers high-quality meals that can be saved and reheated easily. This food category seems set to grow as people discover that they no longer have to choose between nutrition and convenience.”

Facebook IQ
Facebook IQ

Men 35 through 64 wet their whistles with vermouth last month, tripling conversation compared with May 2019 and causing it to rise 0.7 times versus April.

Associated topics included bitters, Campari, cocktail, cocktail garnish, gin, lemon Manhattan, martini, Negroni and vodka.

Facebook IQ wrote, “A key ingredient in cocktails like Negronis and martinis, vermouth is a type of sweetened, fortified wine flavored with herbs and spices. As many bars and restaurants across the U.S. remain closed, people are experimenting with creating their own cocktails at home. Vermouth is cited by many as a staple for any household bar, along with bitters, simple syrup and other mixers. In order to sharpen their bartending skills, some aspiring mixologists are even taking online classes. Cocktail-making is on the rise, and vermouth is one of several key items that people are purchasing in order to stock their own home bars.”

Facebook IQ David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.