New Report Reveals Which Social Media Channels Are Gaining the Most New Users During Shutdown

Zoom and Animal Crossing see biggest spikes with 2000% increase in search traffic for new account creation since March 2020

NEW YORK - “Social Media Audience Trends During the Pandemic” is a new joint report from social listening platform Talkwalker and marketing analytics firm Trust Insights that offers a deep dive into social media users’ quickly-changing habits during the coronavirus shutdown.

Author Christopher S. Penn of Trust Insights used Talkwalker’s social listening platform to analyze data and search engine traffic related to more than 70 social networks. His research reveals which services are enjoying the biggest increases in new user activity, which niche content topics are seeing an explosion in interest, and how marketers and advertisers can use this data to update their social media strategies.


The full report can be downloaded here.


Some striking findings from the report include:

  • Zoom and Animal Crossing are seeing the biggest spikes of new user interest, with each service seeing more than a 2000% increase in search traffic for new account creation since the shutdown began in March of 2020


  • YouTube and SoundCloud have seen the steadiest daily surge of new user interest during the shutdown, with over 400 daily searches being conducted for new account creation for each service


  • YouTube and Facebook are the two biggest drivers of online activity, and their lead over their competitors has only increased in the past two months: each service was the subject of approximately 27.5 million searches per day when shutdown began, but both services have since been searched for by 32-35 million users per day


  • Among smaller social networks, Instagram and gaming network Twitch have seen the biggest sustained spike in daily search traffic since the shutdown began, with Instagram seeing as many as 500,000 extra searches per day and Twitch doubling its daily search interest to over 1.5 million


  • From a niche content perspective, lesser-known sites like Curbly (a DIY design community) and Dailyburn (a health and fitness network) have more than doubled their daily interest from new user searches, as people are seeking out new ways to learn, stay fit, and keep busy during the stay-at-home period

“Searches relating to social network usage increased from a low point on March 3 of 85.9 million searches per day to a peak on March 29 of 108.8 million, a 26.7% increase,” said Christopher S. Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Trust Insights. “When we consider that this represents the activity of over 3 billion people, this is a massive change in the amount of time people spend social networking.”


Talkwalker and Trust Insights offer actionable advice in the report to help marketers, advertisers, and brands navigate this changing social media landscape. For example, given the large increase in time spent on gaming platforms like Twitch and Fortnite, brands should consider creative ways to engage with users through sponsored gaming events, watch parties, in-game experiences, branded walk-throughs and tip guides, and other strategies that connect meaningfully with users on these emerging platforms.


“Where and how consumers spend their time online is changing drastically during the pandemic, and this creates new challenges and opportunities for brands,” said Todd Grossman, CEO of Talkwalker Americas. “Several new channels and platforms have become major players since March as user needs and interests have evolved. Looking ahead, it will be important for marketers and advertisers to adapt their strategies to ensure they stay connected to their audiences as their users’ habits and total time spent shifts from channel to channel.”

About Talkwalker  Talkwalker is the #1 social listening platform for global businesses, empowering over 2,000 brands and agencies worldwide to optimize the impact of their communications. Talkwalker's state-of-the-art social media analytics platform uses AI-powered technology to monitor and analyze online conversations in real-time across social networks, news websites, blogs, and forums in 187 languages, enabling businesses to protect, measure, and promote their brands across all communication channels. With offices in Luxembourg, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Frankfurt and Paris, Talkwalker is a local and global partner for international brands.