In this crucial time of social distancing and lockdown, given the massive outbreak of coronavirus, people have found ways to stay connected to their family and friends through social media applications, a major share of which is procured by the WhatsApp. Based on a survey conducted during March 14 to March 24 including nearly more than 25,000 consumers in over 30 market, the Facebook owned messaging app has recorded tremendous gains due to COVID-19.
As per credible reports, the social media app has seen a 40 per cent rise in usage which has apparently surged from an initial 27 per cent in the earlier days of pandemic to 41 per cent in the mid-phase. For the countries, who are already in the later phase of pandemic, this usage has spiked to nearly 51 per cent.
Data from insights and consulting firm, Kantar suggests that the usage across individual market might even be higher than recorded. Moreover, WhatsApp usage in Spain previously was over 76 per cent. Besides, across all messaging platforms, the growth in usage has been largest in the age group of 18 to 34 years. Additionally, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp saw more than 40 per cent increase in usage from the same group.
It has further been reported that Facebook usage has increased to over 37 per cent, while some of China’s local social media applications have witnessed a rise of 58 per cent in the due course of time.
Despite the prolific gains, consumers across the globe reportedly cited that they did not trust the social media platforms for pivotal news related to COVID-19, making way for reliance on governmental agency websites and national news channel considering their authenticity. It has been apprehended that only about 11 per cent of consumers relied on the news shared via social media platforms.
Kantar’s data is not the first to provide insights on the growth of social media activity during the coronavirus outbreak. Facebook rolled out its data as well, noting that total messaging on its platform recorded over 50 per cent rise as compared to the last month. It also claimed that time spent across all the company’s applications since the crisis, had significantly grown to 70 per cent while time in group calls rose to 1000 per cent during the last month.