As countries are under complete lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, people are now using social media apps more than they have ever used them. As per a study, WhatsApp has experienced a 40 percent increase in usage. This information comes from a study conducted by Kantar, a data and consulting company. Popular social media apps like Facebook and Instagram have also experienced more than 40 percent increase in usage. Also Read - WhatsApp statuses can't be longer than 15 seconds anymore
The report stated that the spike across all messaging platforms has been biggest in the 18-34 age group. Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp has experienced the greatest gains in usage, as far as messaging platforms are concerned. In Spain, the usage of this messaging app increased by 76 percent, which is huge. Countries like China witnessed a 58 percent spike in usage of local social media apps, including Wechat and Weibo. Also Read - WhatsApp continues to improve its multi-device support feature
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Kantar estimates that for WhatsApp in the early phase of the pandemic usage increases 27 percent, in mid-phase 41 percent. The cited source says that countries in the late phase of the pandemic will see an increase of 51 percent. However, only 11 percent users trust social media platforms when it comes to trustworthy information. As per a study, there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels (broadcast and newspaper) are the most trusted sources of information with 52 percent of people identifying them as a ‘trustworthy’ source. Also Read - Instagram ‘Co-Watching’ allows you to browser posts remotely with your friends
Government agency websites are regarded as trustworthy by only 48 percent of people, suggesting that government measures are not providing citizens around the world with assurances and security. The cited source says in the later stages of the pandemic, web browsing will increase by 70 percent. the traditional TV viewing will spike by 63 percent and social media engagement will increase by 61 percent over normal usage rates.
– With inputs from IANS