Stats on Social Media Use in COVID-19 Hotspots: February vs. March 2020

Earlier this year, a global pandemic hit unexpectedly, changing the lives of many over the course of just days. Uncertain of what the future holds, residents of COVID-19 hotspots look for news and signs of change on popular social networks. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, social media usage has reportedly increased significantly. Individuals, connecting with their communities and reading news updates, refresh their feeds more often, and businesses turn to social media hoping to stay afloat by shifting some of their sales online. 

On the 24th of March, Facebook announced that in many of the countries most affected by the virus, total messaging has increased by more than 50%. Italy has seen a 70% increase in time users spend on social media since the crisis arrived. 

We used our free stats browser to compare the latest social media user data for COVID-19 hotspots: the United States, Italy, and Spain. For each country, we analyzed the social platforms with the highest rise in activity over the past month.

The United States

In March, there were 233 500 000 active Facebook users in the United States. Compared to February, the number increased by 2.5%, which accounts for 5 700 000 active users. Since November, the overall number of active Facebook users was much lower than in March. In fact, it was decreasing, with an average month-to-month decrease rate of -2.2%.

Since February, the number of active users aged 25 to 34 increased by 1 000 000. The highest difference between men and women occurs within users aged 65 and above where women led by 5 600 000 in February and by 6 200 000 in March. It accounts for a 600 000 growth of active female Facebook users in this age group. 

On Instagram, there were 124 200 000 active users in March. As compared to February, the number increased by 3.7% which accounts for 4 400 000 active Instagram users. In the months leading up to February, the number of active Instagram users in the United States was more or less fixed, with no significant increases or decreases.

The largest user group, people aged 25 to 34, increased by 2 000 000 active users since February. The highest difference between men and women occurs within people aged 35 to 44, where women lead by 3 300 000 in February and by 4 100 000 in March. It accounts for 800 000 more active female Instagram users in this age group.

Italy

In March, the number of active users in Italy increased by 0.9% for Facebook and just by 0,1% for Instagram. The increase in activity is most notable in the case of Facebook Messenger.

There were 19 290 000 active Messenger users in March. Compared to February, the number increased by 2.5%, which accounts for 469 000 active users. Since November, the number of active users was rising at a slower rate, with an average growth rate of 1.4% month by month.

The number of users aged 25 to 34 increased by 200 000 since February. The number of active Messenger users also increased by 40 000 within the group of women aged 65 and above. 

Interestingly, the number of active LinkedIn users also increased by 1.5% since February. Up to this date, the number of active LinkedIn users was steady: no significant changes were noted since December. The number of active users aged 25 to 34 alone increased by 100 000 in March.

Spain

In case of Spain, the increased activity is especially visible among Facebook Messenger users. 

There were 12 065 000 active Messenger users in March. Compared to February, the number increased by 10.5% which accounts for 1 146 000 active users. In the months leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak (November – January), the number was rising at a significantly slower rate, with the average month-to-month growth rate of 2.5%. 

In March, the number of active users aged 25 to 34 increased by 600 000. There were also 110 000 more active female users aged 55 and above.

For more social media stats, visit our free browser. It allows you to look up current and past social media statistics for users in any country in the world.

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