WhatsApp usage spikes 40% amid coronavirus pandemic

WhatsApp usage spikes 40% amid coronavirus pandemic
WhatsApp usage spikes 40% amid coronavirus pandemic

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Traditional news channels - broadcast and newspapers - most trusted sources of information with 52% of people identifying them as a 'trustworthy' source

As the Covid-19 pandemic envelops the world, WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company.

Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected.

Kantar conducted the largest global study into consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Kantar estimates that for WhatsApp, in the early phase of the pandemic, usage increased 27 per cent in mid-phase 41 per cent and countries in the late phase see an increase of 51 per cent.

Spain experienced a 76 per cent increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall usage has increased 37 per cent. China experienced a 58 per cent increase in usage of local social media apps including WeChat and Weibo.

According to a study, there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels - broadcast and newspapers - are the most trusted sources of information with 52 per cent of people identifying them as a 'trustworthy' source.

Government agency websites are regarded as trustworthy by only 48 per cent of people, suggesting that government measures are not providing citizens around the world with assurances and security. Also reflecting the loss of trust from recent election cycles, social media platforms are regarded by only 11 per cent of people as a source of trustworthy information.

As countries move deeper in to the pandemic so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. According to Kantar, in the later stages of the pandemic, Web browsing increased by 70 per cent, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63 per cent and social media engagement increasing by 61 per cent over normal usage rates.

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