Thought leadership

Some fascinating research in this week’s newsletter which reveals that consumers spent a quarter of their waking day online during lockdown – a record high.

According to the research from communications watchdog Ofcom adults spent an average of four hours a day online in April this year, up from three-and-a-half in September 2019. And seven in 10 people made video calls at least once a week during lockdown, with millions turning to Zoom for the first time.

The pandemic has radically changed online behaviour, said Ofcom.

The regulator’s Online Nation report found that people are seeking new ways to keep connected, informed, entertained and fit during lockdown.

Twitch, the livestreaming platform for gamers, saw visitors increase from 2.3 million in January to 4.2 million in April. TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos, reached 12.9 million UK visitors in April, up from 5.4 million in January.

People are no longer just passive consumers, with two in five adults uploading videos to TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat or Instagram. Video conferencing app Zoom has proved the big hit of lockdown – up from 659,000 users in January to 13 million in April as the nation turned to it to chat to family and friends, and take part in quizzes and games.

Even before the pandemic, people were moving away from landline calls and text messages in favour of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the report indicates. Lockdown seems to have accelerated the adoption of such services. Nearly half of UK adults used WhatsApp to make video calls at least weekly, with Facebook Messenger not far behind on 41% and Apple’s FaceTime being used by 30%.

Ofcom’s director of strategy and research Yih-Choung Teh said: “Lockdown may leave a lasting digital legacy. Coronavirus has radically changed the way we live, work and communicate online, with millions of people using online video services for the first time.”

The issues and challenges thrown up by this research will be examined in detail at our 2020 Virtual CX Marketing Summit in October. Look forward to welcoming you there.

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