by VALERIA PERILLI | Published on May 05, 2020

Have you been wondering how social channels’ trends are changing due to COVID-19? In today’s blog, we’ll explore the shift in some key trends across TikTok, Snapchat and the Facebook’s family of apps (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger).

As most of the world moved to lockdown earlier this year, TikTok was the most downloaded social media app worldwide for February 2020, with nearly 113 million installs. This marked a 96% year-on-year increase, and a new monthly download record for the video-sharing social network. TikTok has now hit 2 billion downloads, increasing the number of monthly active users in the UK alone to 10 million. The level of engagement in the UK has also grown exponentially, with users spending 62 minutes per day on TikTok, opening the app for an average of 13 times – and bringing monthly video views to 33 billion. To drive positive engagement and spread useful messaging around COVID-19, TikTok programmed a series of global initiatives, like #SafeHands (4.5B views) to encourage hand washing, and #HappyAtHome (13.7B views) to promote the importance of social distancing, while inspiring users to stay healthy and happy at home. The content linked to those initiatives has provided many brands and creators with the opportunity to join in global conversations, while sharing useful advice and spreading a message of positivity.

On the other hand, as Snapchat’s purpose has always been to bring friends together, the multimedia messaging app is now more than ever encouraging social closeness – despite physical distancing. And as millions of users are looking for new ways to have fun together, virtually, the time spent playing with Lenses on this platform has increased by 25% during late March, in comparison to late February. This surely provides brands with the opportunity to drive engagement and awareness by developing branded augmented reality experiences that can entertain users during lockdown, and beyond. Snapchatters are also changing their habits and becoming more proactive about staying informed. Their consumption habits have changed too, reporting a dramatic increase in streaming (up by 62%), gaming (up by 38%), shopping (up by 21%), ordering food (up by 23%) and online news consumption (up by 39%).  As a result, the Snapchat community has grown to 229 million Daily Active Users, up 20% year-on-year.

And lastly, for the first time ever, Mark Zuckerberg announced that there are over 3 billion people actively using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger each month. This includes 2.6 billion people using Facebook alone, and more than 2.3 billion people using at least one of these apps every day. In many of the places where the virus has hit the hardest, messaging volume also increased by 50%, while group video calling increased by more than 1,000% over March. In addition, live streaming has become the primary venue for many events, with over 800 million users taking part in live streams across workout classes, concerts and more, every day.

This has given agile brands the chance to develop a strong sense of belonging and togetherness across their online communities, elevating their offering beyond the products they sell. It’s the case of La Semaine Paris, a French clothing brand that has organised weekly IG classes, offering their audience a chance to transform their down-time into an opportunity to learn new things – from meditation, to cooking, to self-care and yoga.

In next week’s blog, we’ll look at how trends are changing across Linkedln, Twitter & Pinterest, and what this means for brands in the consumer and employer brand space. Stay tuned!