92% of people received support through online groups during pandemic: Facebook
The report also says that over 38.8% of people in India said the online groups have become “significantly more important”.
The Covid-19 forced people to stay indoors away from their loved ones last year. Amid the circumstances, online groups and communities helped people by providing them with some form of support.
According to a study titled ‘The Power of Virtual Communities’ conducted by The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in partnership with Facebook, 92% of respondents in India said that they received some form of support through online community groups during the pandemic. The report also says that over 38.8% of people in India said the online groups have become “significantly more important” as compared to responses from the rest of the world, which stood at 29.5%.
The study also found out that 91% of the respondents globally said they were able to provide some form of support via these online groups, whether it was helping local vulnerable residents with their groceries during lockdown, sharing vital information from health authorities, emotional support or providing financial support to local businesses.
Interestingly, the report also found that more than 1.8 billion people across the world use Facebook Groups every month, while more than half of all users are in five or more groups, and over 70 million admins and moderators are running Facebook Groups. Additionally, the study found out that more than 5.5 million people in India are part of active parenting groups on Facebook. It also found out that at least 43.8% of Indians find a sense of belonging in online groups and that 42.1% of Indians' most important group is online.
The report also said that while more research is needed to understand whether and how Facebook Groups will operate as genuine communities over the long term, it further recognises the growing importance of these communities and their leaders and why it is important to support and help them build, grow, and scale their communities.
“The pandemic has shown how important these online communities are. Digital communities have brought people together around a shared trait or interest and have become spaces for people to find compassion and support. This report and its findings reaffirm our mission of connecting people and bringing the world closer together and online communities continue to be a big part of that mission,” Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India said on the occasion.