Since the beginning of the pandemic, social media usage has increased significantly. Reports state an increase of up to 70% in some of the most affected countries. By using it so much more and for many different reasons, we are undoubtedly changing its nature. Let’s see how COVID-19 has affected social media platforms.
People have been joining online communities in search of an alternate way to feel connected with others while being confined in their homes. They have been using social media as a source of information to stay up to date on the topic and share everything new they’d learned with their friends and followers. Finally, many creative minds have been posting entertaining and humorous content to soften the effects of the crisis. All of that leaves traces in the virtual space. The footprints of all our activities online serve as a means to write history. Never in the past had it been possible to express so much information, emotions, art, ‘craziness,’ humor, and whatnot during a historical event, like it is today. And, we have social media to thank for that.
1. We changed the way we connect and communicate
Staying connected while socially distancing is a challenge. We are social animals, and we need communication and interactions to feel whole. This virus has taken that away from us, so we fought back by reaching for social interactions in the online environment. Social media platforms are great because there are various ways to do that. Chatting and video calling tools enable us to stay in touch with our loved ones who are far away. Groups and communities give us a feeling of togetherness.
Since people have been relying heavily on social media to stay connected, they have made a significant impact on the frequency these platforms are used for communicating. In the early days of the lockdown, Facebook reported that they had witnessed a doubling in the number of calls made via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Facebook also reported that the monthly growth is increasing, and almost 3 billion users monthly use at least one of its services or apps (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp). Zoom, another app that “exploded” in use during the lockdown, is reported to be one of the most downloaded apps with more than 200 million daily active users. That is 20 times more than pre-pandemic levels.
Another method for connecting is by posting, for example, a recording of you singing or dancing on your profile. Even something as simple as that may be satisfying for your social needs. Before you know it, people will start giving you feedback. That incites communication, praise, and engagement. All of it makes you feel good, so you do it again, and by doing so, you also inspire others. In a way, it’s a pandemic on its own – a social one – which makes people communicate, support, and appreciate one another more than ever before.
2. Live-streaming has blown up
Streaming videos on social media is not something new but has definitely become the new standard for sharing and consuming content online. With so many canceled live events, it was natural to see them migrate online. We wrote before about some great examples of spreading art during the coronavirus outbreak. Live-streamed performances were, of course, among them.
Billboard keeps an updated list of all live-streams and virtual concerts that already happened or are scheduled to take place while the crisis still lasts. As one of the first entertainers to create a coronavirus inspired live-stream, Lizzo sits at the bottom of this list. Back in March, she led her Instagram audience through a meditation exercise in order to promote good health and fight against fear. Combining relaxing flute sounds with calming words and breathing techniques, she showed us she can be both an entertainer and a spiritual guide at once.
Life will slowly go back to normal and live events will eventually be back on, so people will want to attend them. The unique experience of attending a concert in-person can never be entirely replaced by its digital variant. But, given the current “explosion” of streaming video, we expect to see a lot more entertaining content broadcast through this medium in the future. We changed our habits and needs. What seemed impossible to be sufficiently enjoyable just months ago, is now a norm, and we kind of got to like it. Streamed concerts and live DJ sets attract a lot of audiences, so why would artists ever consider giving them up?
3. It’s all about sharing and caring
Difficult times bring people closer together, even when, ironically, they have to keep a distance. With our screen time being substantially increased, so has our presence on social media. We all want to post the newest information, ask a question, state our views, or simply share a silly video of ourselves or our neighbors.
For artists and entertainers, it’s been a challenging period because of the many canceled gigs and the massive drop in requests for new jobs. But, at the same time, this situation has opened up a lot of new opportunities. Posting relevant and engaging content on social media more often shows you are there for others while at the same time, you gain some exposure for yourself. Demonstrating your crafts and skills through multimedia is an excellent way to do that. Equally important is exchanging comments with fans and connecting with other artists for collaborative projects. The social media platform Doodeo is a great online space to be at, at the moment, both to showcase your work and to make connections with fans and other artists. If not right away, gig opportunities will come later, and you’ll have your stellar profile ready to attract them.
Numerous artists have given us free access to their knowledgeable resources through tutorials, courses, and webinars. It’s not, and it shouldn’t be all about making money in moments like this. It’s about building relationships with people who appreciate your skills. By sharing what we can, we show compassion. We show that we care. People will remember that. If you are not sure how you can show support for your fans, get inspired by these 5 examples of successful artists who are helping the fight against COVID-19.
4. Staying well-informed amid a surge of misinformation
COVID-19 is a new virus that turned everything upside down. Even the scientific community can’t provide us with everything there is to know about it. However, some people have gone to great lengths to share everything from conspiracy theories about how it all started to supposed homemade cures that can kill the virus. Sharing on social media is easy and prompt, but that doesn’t mean that everything is true, and everyone is right. By engaging in posts with misleading information, we make them more popular. As a result, they can reach even more people. So, even if you just want to set the record straight, it’s better to ignore them completely.
Social media platforms fought the spread of misinformation by pushing important official information to their users. Here’s how they’ve done that:
- Facebook is prioritizing the newsfeed to favor more credible sources.
- WhatsApp launched the COVID-19 information hub in partnership with WHO, UNICEF, and UNDP.
- Instagram has also changed their feed’s algorithm in favor of trusted sources of information and rolled-out new stickers to promote accurate information.
- Twitter is banning tweets that could impact the spread of the virus and has strengthened the account verification process.
- YouTube is removing videos from noncredible sources and doesn’t allow placing ads for COVID-19-related content.
- TikTok, in cooperation with WHO, has been hosting daily live-streams where users can ask health experts questions directly.
- Snapchat launched a mental health resource.
- Pinterest presented the new “Today” tab, where users can find pins from relevant sources on topics related to the coronavirus epidemic.
All of this has helped against the spread of the so-called “infodemic”. Furthermore, artists have contributed to the same fight by posting creative content that educates and reminds people about the official recommendations.
Lastly, many great viral campaigns helped people direct their attention to other, more positive things. One great example is the #See10Do10 challenge, which motivates people to stay fit. It works as it sounds: You have to do 10 pushups, post proof, and then tag as many friends as possible to do the same. With content like this, we focus on fun and health and avoid being overly exposed to coronavirus myths and fake news.
5. Humor makes it all a little more bearable
Is it OK to make jokes when people are dying? When we put it like that, it seems inappropriate to say “yes,” but there is a perfectly good reason to keep doing it. Humor has always been considered the best medicine, especially in a climate like the one we have today. It allows us to take back the control, connect, and fight against the pandemic together. It helps us to feel liberated and more relaxed. At the very least, those funny videos and memes we’ve been seeing a lot of lately, provide us a fleeting distraction. Scientifically, laughter even boosts our immune system and increases our pain tolerance.
“A year from now, you’ll all be laughing about this virus,” reads one meme. “Not all of you, obviously.”
The best thing about jokes is that they are contagious. They make people laugh and share them with as many people as possible. At the same time, they inspire creators to come up with more and even funnier ones. The pandemic for sharing jokes has undoubtedly been the coping mechanism we all needed.
“I’ve been avoiding human contact since before it was cool,” said comedian Stephen Colbert.
Now let’s revert to the main question with a little twist…
How has social media shaped the era of the coronavirus?
Could you imagine going through social isolation without social media? You are not alone if you can’t. As much as this has been hard for everyone, it would have been a hundred times harder if it weren’t for our online communities. They have helped us to keep our sanity.
Social media is also defining the coronavirus age as a historical period. With all the traces we leave behind, researchers and storytellers will be able to dig deep into people’s connections, shared memories, losses, and laughs.
The entertainment industry will benefit from a massive library of content created during the pandemic. This content will serve as a testament for a time when the world had experienced a virus outbreak, which made connecting extremely difficult but also brought people closer together.
How to use Doodeo for web promotion for artists?
As the internet grows exponentially, so does the need to know how to use web promotion as a tool to achieve your goals as an artist. This is why we have created a platform that focuses on the needs of the creative people, the entertainers, the artists, and much more. Doodeo is an entertainment hub for all seeking talent and for those skilled artists looking to share their work and make money while doing so.