WhatsApp Sees 40 Percent Usage Surge Due to Lockdowns

Published March 29th, 2020 - 08:00 GMT
WhatsApp Sees 40 Percent Usage Surge Due to Lockdowns
As countries move deeper into the pandemic so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Traditional news channels - broadcast and newspapers - most trusted sources of information with 52% of people identifying them as a 'trustworthy' source.

As the Covid-19 pandemic envelops the world, WhatsApp has seen a 40 percent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company.

Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected.

Kantar conducted the largest global study into consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Kantar estimates that for WhatsApp, in the early phase of the pandemic, usage increased 27 percent in mid-phase 41 percent and countries in the late phase see an increase of 51 percent.

Spain experienced a 76 percent increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall Facebook usage has increased 37 percent. China experienced a 58 percent increase in usage of local social media apps including WeChat and Weibo.

According to a study, there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels - broadcast and newspapers - are the most trusted sources of information with 52 percent of people identifying them as a 'trustworthy' source.

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. Also reflecting the loss of trust from recent election cycles, social media platforms are regarded by only 11 percent of people as a source of trustworthy information.

As countries move deeper into the pandemic so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. According to Kantar, in the later stages of the pandemic, Web browsing increased by 70 percent, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63 percent and social media engagement increasing by 61 percent over normal usage rates.


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