Analysis Reveals A Surge In Digital Activity and Social Media Growth Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in many ways. Things that used to look extravagant or excessive have now started looking normal.

Due to a mass lockdown situation all over the world, and due to the closure of many organizations and educational institutions, people are home-bound and carrying out their work and study routines from home, through online sources. Consequently, this has resulted in increased usage of the internet and other technological applications.

Due to social distancing measures, people resort to video calling each other, and for entertainment, they turn towards online sources too.

However, the latest statistics complied by DataReportal shows an astounding surge in digital activity, especially in countries where the lockdowns were the strictest.

Apart from video calling, video streaming, and a significant increase in the usage of social media platforms, there has been a spike in online gaming and eSports also, but another trend that has spiked is of e-commerce, especially for grocery shopping.

This trend has given a quick boost to the e-commerce industry and has opened new and unexpected chances for digital advertisers too.

Global Digital Activity and Growth Around the World in April 2020:

The data reveals that four months into the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a staggering increase in the total number of internet and social media users.

There has been a 7% total increase in the number of internet users since last year, and more than 8% increase in the number of social media users. In April social media users have reached a whopping 3.8 billion mark!

The penetration of Global social media has not reached 50% as yet, but the number of mobile phone users has increased, with 120 plus million users now, as compared to 2019.

According to GSMA Intelligence, today, almost two-thirds of the world population is using a mobile phone, with more than 5 billion total mobile users all over the globe.


Use of Connected Devices:

76 percent of adult internet users (16 to 64 years old) claim that they’ve been spending more time on mobile phones in recent days as compared to their pre-lockdown times, while laptop and desktop computer users observed 45 percent and 32 percent increase in usage, respectively. More than 20% are spending increased time on their tablets.



On the other hand, more than 30% of internet users in the study group have reported an increased television screen time too, with streaming devices like Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire Stick. American network AT&T also reported record-breaking traffic on Netflix in the US during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and a total of 16 million new paying subscribers from all over the world! Another streaming platform, Disney+ has seen a double growth in Europe in India amid this pandemic.

The incremental percentages for Gaming consoles have reached 17%, for Smart speakers, it is 11% and for Smart Watches, the rising trend has gone up to 6% in total.

Increase in Online and Digital Activities:

According to report, 57% of people are watching more films and shows through streaming platforms, while 47% of people are spending their more time on social media.

Due to social distancing implementation, the number of people sending messages to each other has increased by 46%.

Another almost 40% population comprises people who are relaxing in their homes while enjoying music through streaming services.

36% of people are spending more time on their mobile applications, while 35% are spending their energies on computer games.

More than 10% of people are creating and uploading videos during this lockdown period.


Most used Social Media Platforms:

Reports based on audience size highlights that Facebook is topping the charts of popularity as of April 2020, with a 4% growth since the beginning of world lockdowns.

Instagram is not lagging too, with almost 4.5% growth since January 2020.

Snapchat has also seen its advertising audience grow by more than 4.2% during this time.


Amongst all these apps, Twitter has seen mass popularity. Its advertising audience has reached more than 40 million people since January 2020 alone, which gives it the biggest edge of an astounding growth by 14%.

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have seen double growth and activity due to their video calling features too, in comparison to 2019. YouTube is also amongst the top most used applications during the coronavirus pandemic.

This chart lists the top social media platforms in terms of active users:


Types of Content People Want:

More than 45% of women and almost 50% of men are inclined towards movies, either through streaming applications or through other online sites.

More than 30% of female and male are interested in funny videos and memes, while How-To tutorial videos are equally famous.

35% of women and 30% of men watch repeats of popular classic TV shows, and 20-21% of men and women respectively are interested in musical content through live streaming.

Only 8% of females but 14% of males are interested in live streams on esports, while more than 10% of men and women look up to the updates from bloggers and vloggers in various categories.



All these data were collected through surveys amongst internet users aged between 16 to 64 in countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Data was collected from the mid of March 2020 till 2nd April 2020.

Read next: Travel declines, Games, Business, Education becomes popular - According to Sensor Tower's quarterly analysis of apps

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