When the pandemic started and people had to go into lockdown, plenty weren’t able to see their friends and family, and all of their social plans ended up getting canceled practically overnight.
This made people feel more alone than ever, especially in the midst of the pandemic, which caused additional stress and chaos.
That’s why many decided to turn to social media platforms to find a sense of community or connection. Social platforms turned into a refuge for people where they could share relatable or authentic content when in-person gatherings weren’t an option any longer.
The quarantine greatly impacted society, especially the use of social media platforms, and that, in turn, permanently changed the things that users expect from those platforms.
Time Spent on Social Media Platforms
Between 2019 and 2021, the number of social media users around the world increased by over 10%, nearing 4 billion in the last year. People all over the world started looking for opportunities to connect with each other on social media, with lockdown orders going into effect. People also increased the time they spent on those platforms.
Many were bored and looking for things to do because they couldn’t just go outside and grab a drink or a meal with their friends and family. Social media platforms also increased their engagement rates, with people spending a lot more time on them, which resulted in plenty of businesses starting to provide virtual offerings to those users of social networks.
While video content was slowly increasing in popularity in the last few years, the pandemic drastically changed that, making video-based content the most popular type of content on practically every platform. Media uploads increased by about 80% compared to previous years, along with the time that people spent watching videos.
This led TikTok, the short-form video platform, to grow exponentially in popularity, among all generations of users. The popularity of live streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram Live also grew.
Since many people have been working from home for a while, they’ve also decided that this was their preferred lifestyle for the future, which changed people’s work schedules too.
That means social media peak hours have also changed from the start of the pandemic, and companies have had to find the new optimal time to share content on social media platforms to get the most impact.