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How the global lockdown is changing user behavior and digital consumption



The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world to stay inside their homes. This has further forced them to spend more time reading, streaming, and consuming online content. As per a report, the number of minutes spent by readers on news sites has increased by roughly 46% when compared to the data pertaining to the same time last year. With social distancing and self-isolation being practised by a major part of the world’s population, this has become the new normal.   

Social media apps, online games, streaming content, and other digital media content together have managed to take away the maximum share for the time users are spending in the Lockdown period. People working from home are also high consumers of video conferencing and collaboration apps such as Microsoft Teams. Overnight, it is apps like Zoom that have become the primary social platform for millions of people. 

Online learning has further brought families to the common avenue of digital content consumption. This will cause a major overall shift in user behaviour. This also changes the way brands and influencers will do their business with the new-normal audience. As per a study, the majority of social media users now believe that the fact that they are confined to their homes, their social media usage habits will increase significantly. And that’s true.

Top digital media consumption trends amidst global lockdown


Source: Visual Capatalist 

The fact that we are experiencing the atrocities of COVID-19 and the hope to recover from it someday has also brought about the realization that things will change and the fear will keep lurking. A Mckinsey study in China has brought about the finding that even after the outbreak ends, consumers are likely to go online for their shopping needs, be it grocery. So, here’s how the global lockdown is changing user behavior and digital media consumption. 

The rise of online communities 

Communities had so become a thing of the past, but that was pre-coronavirus times. With everybody forced to stay home, the anxiety meters have been high and there are just so many communities coming up in a tryst to support the people. This has further strengthened the existence of online communities.  

As per a report by the Guardian for the UK, Facebook has witnessed 300 new local Coronavirus support groups, whose combined membership now totals more than a million people. People are becoming a part of several quarantine communities that help them stay sane by offering enough engagement through live chat and other communication means. 

Online hangouts 

Social engagement and hanging out with friends is something that the people simply give up. Human interaction is one of the basic needs. People are still wanting to be able to hang out with their friends and loved ones from the comfort of their homes using tools of the technology. For example, going out to the movies has been replaced by the use of services such as the ‘Netflix Party’.  

Zoom video calls have also managed to become the primary video call service used by the netizens for work as well as leisure purposes. To meet the demand, Whatsapp recently brought the update of adding up to 8 people on a video call. The need of the time, aye.

Fighting fake news 

The time before the COVID-19 effects completely dawned upon us, people really had little consideration about fake news updates floating over the social media. It was always a fly-by moment that people chose to shrug off. However, with what now lies in front of us, new digital media consumption wave has made people more sensitive to the way they perceive new information updates. They are open to consuming verified news instead of just any news piece floating out there. The global lockdown has definitely helped people identify the threats posed by Fake News and to not fall for it.  

Quarantine internet activities

If you are an active part of the internet quarantine parade, you must have definitely come across some sort of Instagram or Facebook challenge by now. If not, you must have definitely witnessed how people are going crazy about cooking. The kitchen now seems to be the best quarantine activity hangout for families, with YouTube becoming the best navigator for trying out new DIYs and food recipes.  

The outbreak has changed entertainment habits.

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular activities in quarantine


Global digital acceptance and adoption 

All of us know people in our lives who were immune to social media and technology and their acceptance as a way of life. However, COVID-19 has changed this legacy thought process for many and brought them on-board with the idea of trying out these things for good. Therefore, we see a large number of boomers joining social media or simply indulging with the tools of technology around them.  

Conclusion

The digital environment has changed and so have people’s digital media consumption habits and patterns. Brands are trying to evolve and react relatively quickly to the change reflected by the surge in social media consumption as it unfolds. The new normal is here with the massive shift in consumer behavior that highly impacts brands, influencers, and businesses forever. 


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