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Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns, Snapchat Sees Higher Usage

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As with all social platforms, Snapchat has been seeing a lot more usage of late, as people stuck inside amid the COVID-19 lockdowns seek an outlet and a means to stay connected with the world beyond their homes.

This week, Snapchat has provided an update on the specific usage trends it’s seeing in its app, along with some keynotes on the trends that are gaining momentum, which could provide some valuable pointers for marketers looking to maximize their performance during our coronavirus-induced hibernation.

First off, on usage, Snapchat says that it’s seen a 50% increase in video calls, while people are also spending 25% more time than normal using Lenses.

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As you can see here, usage is up across the board, with more messages being sent (predominantly among close friends), more group chats and Discover content getting more attention.

None of this is overly surprising, but the increased attention within social apps is important to note, especially for retail brands that are losing out on foot traffic due to forced closures. Maybe, by re-focusing on eCommerce, and reaching users via social platforms, that could go some way towards reducing the impacts and lessening broader economic pain overall.

But it’s not just retailers who should be considering new ways of connecting. Snapchat has also provided an overview of key trends that it’s seeing, which could provide even more pointers for brand building.

Snapchat says that it’s seeing more interest in:

  • Online shopping for athleisure, pet products, and home goods are trending as Snapchatters spend more time shopping on their phones rather than in-store.
  • As consumers are looking for alternatives to dining out and at-home cooking, food delivery – primarily prepared foods – is taking off with increases in web visits and responses to app install ads. 
  • We’ve seen a spike in interest fitness & wellness, streaming & music, gambling games, and mobile gaming, as public entertainment and fitness venues are shut down in major portions of the country. 
  • More people are exploring hobbies like interior decorating and crafts. 
  • Online meditation services are seeing increases inactivity. 

Overall, as a result of this increased engagement, Snapchat says that its ads are performing better, with a 36% increase in install volume for app ads and a 19% increase in swipe-up rate over the last month. 

Not all businesses are able to operate, of course, and the economic impacts of the shutdowns will be significant. But the data here shows that there are still opportunities to connect for brands that are able to cater to such and that there are still people looking for products online, and new avenues to consider.

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It may not seem like an ideal time for such outreach, it could even feel insensitive to those impacted to be considering ads right now. But again, the broader economic impacts will be lessened if those that are able to continue some form of operation do so, and there are ways that many businesses can still push forward.

No one wants to be operating in the midst of a global pandemic, but this, unfortunately, is the position we find ourselves in, and the data here shows that potential still remains to re-align and continue marketing to increasingly engaged audiences online.

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