COVID-19 Expected to Drive Higher Social Media Usage This Year, with Instagram and Snapchat to Benefit

May 26, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Social Media

eMarketer Social Media Usage Growth Forecast May2020Among the various repercussions and changing consumer behaviors attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are expected to spend more of their time on social media this year, per new forecast data from eMarketer. The research firm estimates that adult social media users will log 82 minutes per day on such sites in 2020, up by 7 minutes from 2019.

As a result of the changing media environment, with adults spending more of their time indoors, eMarketer has significantly revised its forecast figures from when it last made its predictions in Q4 2019. The earlier forecast expected time spent on social media sites to stick at 76 minutes per day from 2019 through 2021, but these new figures expect not only more time in 2020 (82 mins), but also in 2021 (80 mins) and 2022 (79 mins).

The revised forecast also breaks out the change in daily time spent by users of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In line with other figures showing a drop in Facebook’s popularity, particularly among younger users, eMarketer originally expected adult Facebook users’ daily time spent with the platform to drop by 2% in 2020. Now, they forecast a rise of 4.3% on Zuckerberg’s original network this year.

In addition, while the original forecast expected some growth in the minutes spent by adult users on Snapchat (1.7%) and Instagram (1.5%), the latest figures for these networks in 2020 are far more bullish, expecting a 12.0% and 13.8% rise respectively.

These figures likely come as good news for Facebook, as on May 19th they announced a partnership with Shopify to help businesses create branded Facebook Shops – an announcement that saw the share price of both companies jump on the news.

Other data from eMarketer can be found here.

For details on the demographic breakdown of adult users of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, see MarketingCharts’ Media Audience Demographics report.

About the Data: Forecasts are based on US adults age 18+ who use social networks at least once a month.

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