Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Channel Consumption

Goals

To identify behavioral changes in social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, amidst national quarantines. This will help form an argument in favor of/against the claim that social media digital consumption and interaction has changed over the past few weeks.

Early Findings

  • A Techcrunch publication opines that social media usage has grown due to the COVID-19 crisis. This is attributed to the increased number of users who go online to remain connected with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • An article by Vox suggests that "people are using the internet to share information, air their anxieties, and bide time while in quarantine."
  • An analysis done by Sprinklr shows that the word Coronavirus was mention 19,140,939 times on 11th March 2020 across social media platforms compared to 1,309,996 mentions on 11th February 2020.
  • In terms of search traffic, Coronavirus has also hit a score of 100 on Google Trends.
  • A survey carried out by a consulting firm, Kantar, reveals that WhatsApp is the social media app with the most significant gains as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The social media app has seen a 40% increase in usage.
  • Whatsapp usage initially grew from 27% in the earlier days of the pandemic to 41% in the mid-phase. Countries in the later stages of the COVID-19 outbreak has seen a 51% increase in Whatsapp usage.
  • In terms of the different countries, Spain has the highest increase in Whatsapp usage, with a 76% increase in usage.
  • Across all messaging platforms, people aged between 18 and 34 years has the highest increase in usage. WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook saw an over 40% increase in usage from this age group.
  • The survey by Kantar suggests that social media platforms that have seen increased usage due to the pandemic are Facebook, WeChat, and Weibo.

Facebook

  • Facebook usage has seen a 37% increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A report by Facebook opines that within the last month, messaging on the platform has increased by over 50% in countries affected most by the virus. Also, "voice and video calling have more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp."
  • Specifically, in Italy, time spent across Facebook-owned apps (Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram), has increased by about 70%. Instagram and Facebook Live views doubled within one week.
  • Messaging has increased by more than 50%, and time spent on group calls with three or more participants has increased by more than 1,000% during the last month.
  • As there was no geographic focus provided to us, we are assuming a global focus. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.

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