Facebook Users Reached Back Into the Past in April 2020

Victory gardens and wacky cake were among Facebook IQ’s Topics to Watch for the month

Conversation about instant coffee was up 24.9 times year-over-year Siraj Ahmad/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

Coffee and cake go well together both for dessert and as the leaders in Facebook IQ’s Topics to Watch for April 2020.

Instant coffee and associated topics cocoa solids, coffee, cream drink, honeycomb toffee, milk, powdered milk, sugar, water and whipped cream saw conversation rise 24.9 times in April compared with April 2019 and 1.7 times versus March.

Men dominated the talk, particularly those 49 and younger.

Facebook IQ wrote, “Traditional instant coffee is easy to make; it requires blending a premixed packet of coffee powder with hot water. While instant coffee was previously praised for its simplicity, it’s now trending because of a somewhat elaborate version: dalgona coffee. This gourmet beverage originally hails from South Korea but is gaining traction in the U.S. through social media. Dalgona coffee is made by whisking instant coffee powder, water and sugar and adding this whipped mixture to milk. The resulting drink is both tasty and aesthetically pleasing. With many coffee shops and restaurants remaining closed across the U.S., people are preparing their coffee at home, and they’re using new methods to make their daily doses of caffeine even more special.”

Facebook IQ
Facebook IQ

All that coffee kept those same men 49 and under awake for their psychological thrillers, which saw conversation volume rise 4.9 times year-over-year and 1.7 times month-over-month.

Associated topics included Jesse Eisenberg, film, horror film, Park Hae-jin, Morecambe Bay, Netflix, photograph, science-fiction, suspense and thriller.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “Psychological thrillers typically grip their audiences and allow people to escape into suspenseful storylines. Their central characters often have complex mental states and experience a distorted sense of reality. Many movies and TV shows in this genre are now available on streaming services. And some thriller novels are even gaining new readers. As people seek out engaging experiences at home, psychological thrillers seem to be doing just the trick.”

Facebook IQ
Facebook IQ

Men 35 and older fueled year-over-year growth of 11.9 times and a rise of 0.9 times compared with March in conversation about sourdough and associated topics baking, bread, brewing, dough, fermentation, fermentation starter, flour, pancake, recipe and yeast.

Facebook IQ wrote, “Bread-making is back as people increasingly look for ways to pass the time at home, and sourdough is the latest type of bread to rise in popularity. Sourdough is a particularly time-intensive bread to prepare, as it requires creating and nurturing a starter prior to baking. This starter is made from flour and water, and it needs to be “fed” with additional water and flour for a week in order to cultivate enough bacteria and yeast. Once it’s ready, a portion of the starter is combined with more flour, water and salt, and the resulting dough is baked. People have long enjoyed the pleasure of a home-baked loaf of bread and, with more time on their hands, they’re increasingly baking bread that requires more effort and patience.”

Facebook IQ
Facebook IQ

Facebook users 35 and up, mostly men, drove telemedicine to conversation volume growth of 18.3 times versus April 2019 and 0.5 times month-over-month.

Associated topics included Doxy, healthcare, hospital, Medicare, medicine, nursing, patient, physician, telehealth and urgent care.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “Telemedicine allows people to access healthcare without having to leave their homes. It’s a service now offered across the U.S., as healthcare providers look for ways to keep their patients with non-urgent concerns safe and healthy. These services are generally more convenient and cost-effective than in-person visits; however, not all insurance providers have covered them in the past. In light of the pandemic, many insurers are now allowing telemedicine visits, and some are even partnering with telehealth companies to deliver these benefits. For routine checkups and visits that don’t require direct examination, telemedicine is an increasingly viable option and one that could remain popular even after the pandemic ends.”

Facebook IQ

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.