By Juliet Umeh
As billions of people around the world observe stay at home directives issued by the governments in the wake of the coronavirus, COVID-19, a new report has revealed that social media has experienced boom in its engagements.
This is as many people have turn to social media for support, communication and entertainment and as such has increased over the last few weeks.
Latest report by a Data, Insights and Consulting Company, Kantar, shows that there has been a 61 percent increase in normal social media engagements.
It said: “Social media usage jumps 87 percent as people log over four hours online daily.
“The first week of lock down, saw Indians spend more than 280 minutes a day on social media, a spike of 87 percent over the previous week, as people remained in. Instant messaging platform, WhatsApp happens to be experiencing the greatest gains.”
According to the report, WhatsApp has seen a 40 percent increase in usage. Its parent company, Facebook also witnessed an increase in use of 37 percent. These gains are attributed to users less than 35 years.
Meanwhile, Facebook itself acknowledged this surge, saying voice and video calls have more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp.
It said, “Live video has also doubled on Facebook and Instagram. This is obviously because many people want to stay connected with friends and family during this period where they may not be able to meet in person.”
According to the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, “Facebook is straining to deal with skyrocketing usage during the coronavirus pandemic. I have never seen anything like this before.”
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The social network is straining to deal with skyrocketing usage as its 45,000 employees work from home for the first time. The company also admitted its challenges in keeping the apps stable during this period since most of its employees are working from home.
According to the report, the Facebook family of apps is not also the only one that has seen a spike in usage over the last couple of weeks. Popular video-sharing app, TikTok has also seen a surge. According to MBW, TikTok’s global downloads in a week were up by 12 percent, rising from 25.4m on March 9 to 28.5m by March 16.