NEW DELHI : Instant messaging app WhatsApp has seen 40% spike in global usage as people look to stay connected amid rapidly spreading coronavirus (COVID-19), which has lead to social distancing and lockdowns worldwide, global research firm Kantar said in a study on Wednesday.
- The study delves into consumer attitudes, media habits and consumer expectations as the world buckles under contagion fears of the deadly virus
- WhatsApp saw 27% increase in the usage in the early phase of the pandemic and 41% in mid-phase
The study delves into consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations of people from brands as the world buckles under contagion fears of the deadly virus.
According to the study, Facebook-owned WhatsApp saw 27% increase in the usage in the early phase of the pandemic and 41% in mid-phase. The usage has surged by 51% in the countries which witnessed the late phase of the pandemic.
Increased usage across all messaging platforms has been biggest in the 18-34 age group. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have all experienced over 40% increase in usage from under 35-year olds.
Spain experienced a 76% increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall Facebook usage has increased 37%. China experienced a 58% increase in usage of local social media apps including Wechat and Weibo.
The study surveyed more than 25,000 consumers across 30 markets, the first wave of COVID-19 Barometer research provides brand owners with clear direction on how to ensure their brands stay connected to their customers during the pandemic crisis.
As countries move deeper in to the pandemic, media consumption increases across all in-home channels. In later stages of the pandemic web browsing increased by 70%, followed by a 63% spike in (traditional) television viewing and social media engagement increasing by 61% over normal usage rates.
The study also stated that there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels (broadcast and newspaper) are the most trusted sources of information with 52% of people identifying them as a ‘trustworthy’ source. Government agency websites are regarded as trustworthy by only 48% of people, suggesting that government measures are not providing citizens around the world with assurances and security. The findings also reflected the loss of trust from recent election cycles, social media platforms are regarded by only 11% of people as a source of trustworthy information.
A significant part of the study deals with consumers’ expectations from brands. As high as 78% of the respondents expect the brands they chose to take care of employees’ health while 62% favoured flexible working hours. 41% of the respondents favoured the brands that support hospitals and 35% picked those which were helpful to the government.
There is very little expectation that brands should stop advertising with only 8% of respondents identifying it as a priority for brands. As many brands consider ‘going dark’ to save costs Kantar estimates that a six-month absence from TV will result in a 39% reduction in total brand communication awareness, potentially delaying recovery in the post-pandemic world.
For those that do continue advertising a clear majority of consumers expect advertising to make a positive contribution to society. This can be done by highlighting how a brand is helpful in the new everyday life (77%), inform about their efforts to face the situation (75%) and offer a reassuring tone (70%).
There are clear pitfalls to be avoided in advertising during the pandemic which includes not exploiting coronavirus situation to promote the brand (75%) and avoid humorous tones (40%).
Here’s how you can reduce data usage on WhatsApp
The instant messaging platform is widely used to share photos, videos, documents, and also for voice and video calls. This could definitely eat a lot of data from your monthly pack and also pull down data speeds.
Owing to a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, majority of employees across sectors have been forced to stay indoors and work from home. The sudden surge in media consumption could potentially put a heavy load on the internet infrastructure, leading to slower speeds and worse — no connectivity.
WhatsApp is one such app which is used by millions of users across India. The instant messaging platform is also widely used to share photos, videos, documents, and also to dial voice and video calls. This could definitely eat a lot of data from your monthly pack and also pull down data speeds.
Here are some ways through which you can reduce data usage on WhatsApp:
Disable auto-download settings
WhatsApp users can send or receive an unlimited number of photos, videos and other media content. If the media auto-download option on WhatsApp is enabled, it will not consume a significant amount of data over time, but also fill the smartphone’s storage.
To disable media auto-download on Android,
— Go to WhatsApp Settings
— Tap on ‘When using mobile data’ and select/de-select the kind of media that you do not want to get auto-downloaded using mobile data.
— The same steps should be followed for disabling media auto-download when connected on Wi-Fi.
To disable media auto-download on iOS,
— Go to WhatsApp Settings
— Tap on Data and Storage usage
— Here, you can open each type of media type and select if you want WhatsApp to auto-download on Wi-Fi only or when connected to cellular as well. You can also disable media auto-download by selecting ‘Never’.
Low data usage for calls
Among the most popular features of WhatsApp include the ability to make voice and video calls using mobile data or Wi-Fi.
To reduce data consumption when using WhatsApp call, disable the ‘low data usage’ under the ‘Call Settings’ section.
Limit chat backup
WhatsApp gives users the option to take a backup of their chats and other media shared on the app. While taking backup is important, it is recommended that users should disable auto chat backup on WhatsApp if possible.
To do so, go to WhatsApp settings > Chats> Chat backup > Select ‘Off’ under auto-backup.
WhatsApp: How to See Deleted Messages on Android?
How to scan WhatsApp Web from your phone?
STEP 1: Open WhatsApp
Open WhatsApp on your phone and also on desktop
STEP 2: Open Settings
After opening WhatsApp, open Settings on your phone
STEP 3: QR code
Click on WhatsApp web/Desktop and you will see QR code on the mobile screen
STEP 4: Scan QR code
Scan the QR code with the one displaying on the desktop by placing your mobile camera towards the desktop screen.
STEP 5: Final step
Now, you can easily view all the chats and messages on the big screen after scanning the QR code