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WhatsApp sees highest engagement during Covid-19 pandemic with 40% increase in usage: Kantar report

Among the social media apps, WhatsApp is seeing the highest number of usage with Spain witnessing an increase of 76%.

WhatsApp started off with 27% app usage in the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic reaching 51% in the late phase.
WhatsApp started off with 27% app usage in the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic reaching 51% in the late phase. (Pixabay)

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to one thing - increase in user activity on various apps and services. These span from work collaboration tools, video calling apps and social networking. Among these, WhatsApp is seeing the highest surge in usage of 40% according to a report by Kantar.

During the early stage of the Covid-19 pandemic, WhatsApp usage increased to 27%. This quickly rose to 41% mid-phase and then jumped to 51% in the late phase. There's no region-wise numbers for WhatsApp usage but the report highlights Spain witnessed an increase of 76%.

The report also added that WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram saw over 40% increase in usage from users below the age of 35. Messaging apps too saw the highest number of activity between the 18 and 34 age group.

Earlier this week Facebook said messaging has increased over 50% globally. In places where the Covid-19 pandemic hit the hardest, video and voice calling on Messenger and WhatsApp doubled. The highest numbers came from Italy where people spend 70% more time on Facebook apps with group calling having increased by over 1,000% in Italy.

These apps are surely playing a major part in communication but not so much in providing trustworthy news. The Kantar report states that only 11% of people use social media as a source of trustworthy information. Traditional media like news channels and newspapers are considered more trustworthy with 52% of people vouching for it. Kantar suggests "the loss of trust from recent election cycles" is behind the lack of trust on social media for news.