COVID-19: Social Media Usage Impact

Goals

To understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the use of social media generally or across different demographics, by looking at its past, current, and future usage.

Early Findings

Best Posting Times

Facebook

  • Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shift in the regular posting time on social media.
  • Before the pandemic, the peak day for posting on Facebook was Wednesday, from 11 a.m. and 1–2 p.m. However, during the pandemic, Facebook peak posting days have shifted to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Every day around 11 a.m. enjoyed a slight peak over the rest of the day. However, weekends and weekdays after 5 p.m. are still showing a significant low.

Instagram

  • There is an expansion in the peak posting times on Instagram during the week. Previously, it was Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday between 10–11 a.m. However, currently, the best times to post on Instagram are 2 p.m. on Tuesday and 11 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.
  • Previously on weekdays, Instagram activity was quite consistent in the early morning and late evening. Currently, it is more concentrated during the workday and only reduces after 6 p.m.
  • Before the pandemic, Sunday was the worst day to post. However, just like every other weekend day, it is currently showing high activity from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Twitter

  • The best day to post on Twitter is Friday between 7–9 a.m., with 9 a.m. being the peak time. Before the pandemic, the peak days were Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.
  • Twitter has maintained some consistency in its usage pattern pre and post-COVID-19 response due to its ongoing use of quickly disseminating news and useful public information for the lockdown and quarantine measures in different regions.

Demographics

  • The number of active female Facebook users in the US aged between 25-34 years increased by 600,000 people between February and March 2020, with a general increase of 1,000,000 people within this age group.
  • Before February 2020, the number of Facebook users was facing an average monthly decline rate of -2.2%.
  • Instagram users aged between 25-34 years increased by 2,000,000 active users between February and March.


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