During this COVID-19 pandemic, a little less than 80 percent of the population in Qatar may be stuck at home either for work (WFH), vacation or local leave, or simply – at home. Aside from binge-watching on Netflix or flexing our cooking skills in the kitchen, we also spend much of our time on social media, just like always. Although the same is true even during the pre-corona virus period especially upon entering the decade of social media in early 2000.
One day, I got curious about one thing – just how many social media accounts would an average person have, and can they really manage all of it well? What are the effects of these in the minds of young users today?
According to a report from a leading newspaper in Qatar published in April 2020, “According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8-18, before the pandemic, were spending an average of 7.5 hours in front of a screen daily, just for entertainment, according to a report on cdc.gov.” And it has increased further during this time of social distancing and stay-at-home.
Earlier I blogged about 6 Most Popular Apps During Covid-19 Pandemic. And in this post, I would like to take it to a different level and see how someone can manage their time, how they see each social media platform, and what benefits does it give them as a user.
HOW MANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES ARE THERE IN 2020?
In an article from https://influencermarketinghub.com/, they mentioned that there are more than 50 social media platforms that are available online at the beginning of 2020. Most of us may only be familiar with the first 10 on the list, but it’s surprising to know that there are a lot more out there, not to mention those that are popular in specific countries (click the link to see more social media apps).
- #1: Facebook
- #2: Instagram
- #3: Twitter
- #4: Tumblr
- #5: LinkedIn
- #6: WhatsApp
- #7: Snapchat
- #8: Pinterest
- #9: Reddit
- #10: YouTube
In 2019, there will be around 2.77 billion people using social media. And with smartphones and internet connectivity becoming cheaper and easier to access, we should expect to see these numbers grow even higher. By 2021, more than 3 billion people will be using social media. – https://influencermarketinghub.com/
HOW MANY ACTIVE USERS ARE THERE FOR EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES?
In another article from https://www.statista.com/, it says that Facebook, which was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts, is leading followed by Youtube and WhatsApp. Instagram has also reached the 1 billion mark in June of 2018.
The leading social networks are usually available in multiple languages and enable users to connect with friends or people across geographical, political or economic borders. Approximately 2 billion internet users are using social networks and these figures are still expected to grow as mobile device usage and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction. – https://www.statista.com/
HOW EACH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS DIFFERS TO EACH PERSON?
For content creators or social media influencers, it will not be surprising to see them actively managing at least 4-8 social media accounts on a regular basis. In Qatar for example, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for many. When posting on Instagram, one can easily share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Whatsapp in a matter of seconds (one content into 5 different platforms – although there’s a strategy on how to make each of your platform interesting without sharing exactly the same content, it’s called dedication and creativity). Whatsapp is also becoming a safe, convenient, and free messaging app that’s used by many establishments in Qatar (easy to communicate, to share photos and videos, and to verify users). And with videos becoming more attractive than written blogs, a lot of content creators are turning to Youtube not only as a medium of expression but also to generate income. Lately, social media influencers are also using TikTok for the same purpose as Youtube. For many of our Arabic friends who are also into content creation, Snapchat is widely used.
For regular users, many would feel intrigued whenever a new app is becoming popular. Either they will create an account, use it for some time, and come back when they feel like it. One may have registered to so many social media apps but the recent/most used social media apps on their phones would reveal what’s essential to their daily lives.
Facebook is generally useful for connecting with family, friends, classmates, former officemates. It is even mentioned in the login/create an account page that Facebook helps you to “Share photos and videos, send messages and get updates”. The downside of this platform is that due to its massive amount of users, there would be more ocassion when it is used to vent out personal frustrations and anger, oftentimes when the subjects tend to become too political and very controversial. The environment becomes totally chaotic and stressful.
Instagram is a photosharing app that’s best to appreciate trends, travel destinations, food inspo, and more. From the login it says “A simple, fun & creative way to capture, edit & share photos, videos & messages with friends & family”. With many of the lifestyle companies using Instagram marketing to reach their target audience, they also use social media influencers with tens of thousands of followers (even millions) to ensure that they get the maximum exposure for their products and/or brands. The downside of this popularity gauge is that some users (especially the teens) equate the number of “LIKES” to acceptance and validation – a psychological effect thinking that those “instagramable” images we see on the grid are becoming the world standard.
Twitter: “From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics, get the full story with all the live commentary. Hear what people are talking about. Join the conversation.” Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters but was doubled to 280 for non-Asian languages in November 2017. Even without watching the television, you will see trending topics and bite-size updates as it happens. The downside of Twitter, being mainly into news, entertainment, and politics, is that is very vulnerable to misinformation and confusion. Reports of bullying and disinformation campaigns are common that even explicit photos and videos are becoming easily accessible to everyone.
YouTube‘s aim is for us to “Enjoy the videos and music (we) love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world…”. True enough, it was – more than the other social media platforms – a source of entertainment in video formats. Moreso, it has allowed some content creators to partner with them and earn income from views and google ad sense. However, the downside of Youtube is the proliferation of non-essential contents, and those that are not suitable for kids and young audiences.
Social media is a platform for interacting with other people online. We must understand the distinct characteristics and features of each one to see if it will be helpful and useful for us.
In your case, how many social media platforms are you actively using on a daily basis and how do you differential each one? Please share you insights in the comment section below.
SPECIAL THANKS to a website called PEXELS for the beautiful images used in this post. All photos are for representation purposes only.