Pandemic Habits - We've turned to social media during COVID-19

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 22 July 2020

Half the world, and more than 70% of Australia’s population, now uses social media, according to the latest Digital 2020 report from creative agency We Are Social and Hootsuite.

Digital 2020: July Global Statshot Report shows that 3.96 billion people use social media today, accounting for around 51% of the global population.

In Australia, 71% of the Australian population actively use social media, or 83% of the eligible population, aged 13 or more.

In terms of platform success, Instagram and LinkedIn have enjoyed impressive growth.

Brands can now reach 1.08 billion people using ads on Instagram, with the platform adding 111 million new users (more than 1 million a day) to its advertising reach in the past three months.

LinkedIn now has 700 million registered users; the platform’s global user base grew by more than 25 million over the past three months, equating to quarter-on-quarter growth of almost 4%.

“The global milestone that social media has reached is astounding: every second person is now an active user,” says Suzie Shaw, managing director of We Are Social Australia.

“Social media permeate all aspects of our personal and professional lives, to the point that 1 in 3 Australians use social media to research brands and look for information about their products - increasingly influencing our purchasing decisions as a consequence.

“As a result, social commerce has become more and more important, and many platforms are now offering integrated, frictionless shopping features; this represents an invaluable opportunity for brands to adapt to an increasingly popular purchasing behaviour and grow their business.”

The data confirms huge shifts in social and digital behaviour since COVID-19 lockdowns started around the world.

In Australia, digital behaviours have evolved substantially, with 33% spending more time on social media in recent weeks.

“Australia’s digital and social behaviours are evolving rapidly,” says Heather Cook, general manager, Hootsuite Australia and New Zealand.

  • Three-quarters (74%) of Australians bought something online in the past month.
  • A third (33%) of Australians have been spending more time on social media in recent weeks
  • 31% of Australians regularly use voice search and commands
  • 62% of Australians are concerned about the misuse of their personal data, while 64% are concerned about misinformation on the internet
  • 44% of Australians use ad-blockers every month
  • 32% of Australians use social media to research brands and products
  • 73% of Australians said they bought something online in the last month, and 38% did so via a mobile device
  • The annual value of the e-commerce market in Australia is up by 13%

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