APPSPIRE.me has been observing internet activity throughout the stages of COVID-19. In March, internet use spiked as more people worked from home and were required to quarantine. According to Forbes, March saw a 70% increase in internet use, with an additional 12% increase in streaming. Then, 53% of Americans reported that the internet was an essential activity for lockdown. Also, social media platforms saw more daily users. In December 2019, Facebook had 2.38 billion users. At the end of March, they had 2.6 billion.
According to The New Stack, “Verizon saw a 20% increase in web traffic in one week as U.S. users started staying home in March and it’s still 27% higher than usual; VPN usage is up 49% with employees working from home. Video is up by 36% and online gaming by 115%.”
Now we are in the month of June, and phasing over to in-person socializing, reducing the need for virtual connection. It is predicted that social media will shift into more photo-sharing with apps like Viiddo. People will start taking the vacations they had to cancel and Viiddo launched just in time for family milestone sharing. Now, a large chunk of internet activity will be mostly from those still working from home. Although, online gaming and streaming are expected to remain the same. As a result, at-home office work and gaming will be the main activities.
With school and colleges out of session, online meetings have dropped slightly. This frees up internet usage in the average household. Google Meet, Skype, and Zoom saw a surge in sign-ups and meetings in March. Now, most businesses are still opting for online meetings. Retail and other businesses are back open for foot traffic at 25% – 50% capacity, including office buildings. Businesses are shifting back into normal operations. Therefore, internet usage is expected to lower as online shopping reduces.
It’s possible that those who have grown comfortable working from home will likely remain at home, if company policy allows. Some companies seek to continue remote work, if staff does not waste work time. This could be a positive change that improves the quality of life and reduces road traffic. Read more on post-COVID mobility in Austin on Get There ATX.com. Also, stay tuned for more updates on app and internet activity in our blog and newsletter.
We hope you have a safe summer and would like to remind you to support your local businesses.