How have you used your time in lockdown? Baked a cake? Check. Painted a wall? Check. Ordered so many items online you weren’t sure what the delivery driver was bringing? Check.
Or perhaps you’ve completed Netflix and made an insufferable number of TikToks?
No judgement here, you’re not alone. As we hit 100 days of lockdown this week, Ofcom’s Online Nation report revealed that in April 2020, internet users in the UK spent a record average of 4 hours 2 minutes online each day – rising to an additional hour of time spent for those aged 18-24.
In an interview with The Independent, Yih-Choung Teh, director of strategy and research at Ofcom, speaking on the report said: “Coronavirus has radically changed the way we live, work and communicate online, with millions of people using online video services for the first time.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, with limited resources the internet has now become our go to for accessing the majority of our news and information, with users spending more time online looking up stories relating to coronavirus… and thankfully our broadband networks are holding up!
As a nation, in March 2020 we typically spent an additional three minutes each day on news sites (15 minutes 43 seconds), falling by just a few seconds in April 2020 (15 minutes 32 seconds). And the gap is narrowing when it comes to our media of choice, TV continues to lead the way with 75% of consumers (the BBC taking the crown of most used service) followed by the internet (66%) and social media chosen by almost half of us (49%).
But what are we all looking at?! The Ofcom study also reveals that more than a third of our time online is spent on Google or Facebook owned sites – helping us to stay entertained and communicating with friends, family and colleagues. And perhaps showing off… TikTok has seen phenomenal growth in lockdown, increasing its reach among UK adults from 5.4 million to 12.9 million between January and April 2020, while the Houseparty app also increased its user base from 175,000 to 4 million. The now household name ‘Zoom’ reached 13 million adult internet users in April 2020, up from 659,000 in January 2020.
When it comes to web-calling, are you a camera on or off? We’re now making video calls daily – and getting quite used to seeing the homes, children and pets of colleagues and clients. In the 12 months to February 2020, 35% of online adult consumers used online video calling at least weekly, with that figure now doubling to 71% and 38% of us using them at least daily.
Speaking of which, what time is your next Zoom call?
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