CHANGED TRENDS: As we’ve moved out of lockdown in 2020 how we’re using the media has changed again

The only constant is that things are ever changing.

As communicators, we need to be alive to this fact, try to map it, respond to it and most importantly of all explain to the organisation why we recommend what we recommend.

Short term, by all means do something because someone important demands it.

Long term, you keep your job by navigating the organisation through the ice field maze of changing landscapes.

Nothing proves this fact more than the data that has been mapped through 2020. Chief cartographers of this change has been Ofcom. They are the communicators friend.

I’ve gone through two recent publications. Firstly, the week 20 Ofcom COVID-19 research and also the COVID-19 interactive consumption and attitudes data.

Do a little dance, TikTok has landed and WhatsApp is huge

One thing that emerged from #commscampstayshome is that people have twigged that TikTok has become a thing. But they’re baffled by it. Hiding behind the fact no-one senior has asked for it yet isn’t the best strategy. The data would suggest that more time is spent getting used to it and working out how to use it.

Last last year, TikTok admitted to 3.2 million UK users but this is now 11.8 million.

Facebook still leads the way with 43 million users although frustratingly, this combines Messenger in the figures. Also frustrating is that YouTube isn’t counted as a social platform but I’d expect it to be used by around 44 million. That would put WhatsApp on third with 30.2 million is and Instagram on 28.2 million fourth.

Twitter is down on 25.1 million. For me, this is further evidence that posting to Twitter isn’t reaching everyone. Its star wanes.

People spend the longest time on YouTube and then Facebook

I’m ignoring that Ofcom don’t class YouTube along with other social channels when it comes to time spent. It knocks the others out of the park.

Time spent on apps in the UK, summer 2020

YouTube 48 minutes

Facebook and Messenger 25 minutes

TikTok 19 minutes

Snapchat 11 minutes

WhatsApp 6 minutes

Pinterest 6 minutes

Instagram 6 minutes

Twitter 5 minutes

Video use remains up

Lockdown saw people spending more time at home and looking for ways to entertain themselves.

The amount of time spent on video went up by 90 minutes a day to 6 hours and 25 minutes in April. It has fallen back but stays at pre-lockdown levels.

Radio use has stayed constant

For over 24s listening to the radio hasn’t changed much despite the loss of lengthy commutes when radio has provided traffic jam company. A total of 70 per cent listen to the radio in the summer a loss of just one per cent compared to pre-lockdown levels.

However, under 24s have departed to audio books and YouTube. with 27 per cent listening a fall of almost a fifth.

As a communicator, if you’re trying to reach over 55s then radio remains a good way.

Podcasts listening has levelled out

Data shows 16.1 per cent listen to podcasts over the summer which is an increase of 0.1 per cent. Younger people have steered away from them while over 24s have increased listening.

BBC for the win for COVID-19 information

The BBC was top of the pile as a destination for pandemic information with 82 per cent getting information from this route.

So, in other words, if you’re trying to communicate local lockdown or other COVID-19 messages having the BBC on your side would be a really good idea.

Picture credit: Flickr / Documerica.

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