With restaurants closed, movie theatres and basically any physical entertainment spot, more and more people have been spending most of their time online, all thanks to the unexpected pandemic.
However, a New York Times report of internet usage in the U.S from two online data providers, Apptopia and SimilarWeb show that people’s behaviour online has changed, as the pandemic spread and forced most people to use their devices for connecting, playing and working. Mgenious Solutions is a great way to get started if you need Microsoft 365 implementing into your business.
With almost all gatherings banned, the U.S citizens have turned to stream services like YouTube and Netflix and connect with other people on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Reddit.
In the past several years, the users of these services had been gradually shifting to their smartphones, leading to a huge focus on mobile. However, with many people spending their days at home with laptops, TVs, and tablets at hand, more and more users seem to be remembering how unpleasant it can be to watch content for hours on end on small phone screens.
According to Apptopia and SimilarWeb, Youtube, Facebook, and Netflix have seen their user numbers on their respective apps either fall off or plateau, as their website users continue to grow. Both Apptopia and SimilarWeb get their traffic data from multiple independent sources to come up with figures that can be compared across the web.
While conventional social media platforms have experienced tremendous growth, it seems like people want to do more than just text- they want to see one another. This has led to the tremendous growth of applications that deal with video calls, such as Houseparty and Duo, which allow many people to join a single video chat and even play games together.
Also, people have become more interested in their immediate environment and how it’s shifting and responding to the covid-19 pandemic. This has resulted in a renewed interest in Nextdoor, a platform that primarily focuses on connecting local neighbourhoods.
Both schools and offices have moved into our living rooms and basement and this shift has had a tremendous effect on online activity. Meetings are being held on Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. Assignments are being handed out on Google Classroom. However, the rush to these services has resulted in new scrutiny on privacy.
During the uncertainty on how bad the pandemic could become, and in many cases in the U.S, the citizens seem to want several more things other than the latest updates on the pandemic. Local news websites are among the largest beneficiaries with tremendous boosts in traffic as more and more people look to know how the virus is affecting their local towns.
Also, people have been looking for more established brands for information on the pandemic and its economic impact. The business website, CNBC, has experienced a substantial increase in readership. Also, The Washington Post and The New York Times have both experienced a 50% increase in traffic in just a single month. This is according to data revealed by SimilarWeb.
The need for the recent facts on the pandemic seems to be hampering interest in the more opinionated views from partisan websites, which have defined the media landscape in the last couple of years. Publications such as TruthDig and The Daily Caller have reported either falling or stagnant traffic numbers. Even Fox News has recorded not so great numbers compared to other major news outlets.
The homepage for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) takes the top rank, beating all news websites in terms of popularity. The website has been attracting millions of visitors after having almost none before the pandemic. Over time, people have ideally looked for more ambitious ways to quantify the spread of covid-19, such as the one released by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
These are just some of the more prevalent ways the virus has changed how people use the internet.