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How COVID-19 has changed our social media use

With the quarantine, many of us went from being out in the street to being stuck at home, virtually overnight. Our physical connections have largely transformed to digital relationships. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s been a considerable increase in the time we spend in front of a computer or cell phone screen.

Impact of COVID-19 on our social media habits

Where we’re spending our time on social media

  • People during the pandemic spend on average 12% more time on Facebook, and Instagram has the highest growth in use with 14%, reporting around 30 min per day per user.
  • Finance and Health content have had the most growth in engagement rates on Instagram, exceeding a 100% increase in interactions from March 2020 to March 2019.
  • Influencer posts decreased by 22.6% for Facebook, 41.2% for Twitter, and increased 8.93% for Instagram.
  • Online mental health support services have grown exponentially to help people with feelings of anxiety and depression caused by isolation.
  • On Facebook, the posts with the highest levels of interaction were detailed notes, interviews and conferences on the status of infections. On Instagram, the “breaking news” photos and videos of celebrities who tested positive for the virus performed better, Twitter became the place for news with statistics and charts of local infections and prevention tips.

Industry Changes

  • TikTok usage is through the roof. The Chinese app that allows users to create and share short videos has exploded during the quarantine. According to a study by Kantar Media group, TikTok usage has gone up by a third (33%) among GenZ and 27% among Millennials.
  • There’s been a decrease of around 5% of total paid publications and 50% of investment in Ads.
  • Facebook reversed a downward trend in users and usage, reporting an increase in messages of 50% and WhatsApp of 40%.
  • The main use of social networks changed. What started as a method to share information transformed into a method of distraction from the pandemic, primarily providing humor through memes.
  • Fake news has also been a strong force on social media these days. There has been a lot of social media use spreading false news, leading to physical and verbal attacks on health personnel, racism and hate speech against different ethnic groups, attacks on 5G antennas, the frenzy around the toilet paper shortage, etc.

Of course, social media has also been a big force for sharing information about the ongoing protest in the United States in response to the killing of George Floyd, as well as sharing information about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Social media continues to be a powerful force, especially now that people are at home and in front of their computers. If you’re looking for tips on how to restart your communication strategy being sensitive to current events, check out our blog post on how to reactivate your communications post-COVID.

Or, schedule a call with one of our specialists and we’d be happy to help you brainstorm ideas.