New projections reveal that Instagram is set to see the greatest gains from increased time spent with social media.
Social media, and internet usage as a whole, is on the rise as a result of stay-at-home orders brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Time spent with Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat is all up.
Revised estimates from eMarketer show Instagram usage is increasing the most.
Further, those gains are expected to be sustained in the years to come.
Here are the key highlights from a new interview with eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco.
Time Spent With Social Media is Up Across the Board
People are spending more time consuming content on social media, especially video content.
eMarketer now projects that people will spend an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes per day with social media this year.
That’s an increase of 6 minutes per day compared to eMarketer’s previous forecast.
“We’re seeing increased engagement on IG Live, Facebook Live, with short form content and videos.
In general, the increase from our previous forecast is six minutes. So this is, of course, average throughout the day. And it’s averaged out throughout the year, of course.
From the year before it’s a seven minute increase. So when it’s all added up it comes to about an hour-and-twenty-minutes-plus of time spent on social networks, which is a tremendous amount of time.
And yes, the impact from COVID is positive on social media engagement.”
Facebook Reverses Downward Projections
Facebook is estimated to see positive growth this year in terms of time spent on the platform.
That’s an improvement from the declines in time spent on Facebook over the previous years.
“With Facebook we’re reverting back to positive growth. We previously were showing negative percent declines for Facebook.
So we’re now, because of the COVID-19 effect, showing a growth of 4.3%, which is positive. And we’ve been seeing declines on Facebook for a number of years now.
So that’s about an increase of a little bit over a minute. So it’s not super significant like we’re seeing for some of the other socials like Instagram and Snapchat. But it is a positive story.”
Users are estimated to spend upwards of 34 minutes per day on Facebook in 2020.
That number is expected to go up even further in the coming years.
“As I mentioned, Facebook is still the most engaging platform. It does have the highest user base, but that does pretty much comes out to a little over 34 minutes a day on Facebook.
And, of course, as I mentioned those declines – we’ll continue to see them. They’re about a minute or so over the next few years after 2020.”
Instagram Goes From Flat Growth to Serious Spikes
Time spent with Instagram has been relatively flat, and was only projected to grow 1.5% in 2020.
Now, Instagram is expected to see the strongest growth out of all social networks that are covered by eMarketer.
Time spent on Instagram is estimated to grow 14% this year, which equals over 3 minutes of additional time spent by each user each day.
“Instagram was pretty flat growth. We projected a 1.5% growth in 2020, but because of COVID-19 it’s actually going to see the biggest, strongest growth out of all of the socials that we cover. Nearly 14% growth. That’s about 3.2 minutes when you add that up.
For Facebook I was going to mention that 4.3% growth is about a little over a minute, so this three minutes is extraordinary actually.
And we do expect that there will be a slight decline in 2021, but a lot of this will be sticky behavior. It will be sustained into the future.”
Snapchat Growth Also Strong
Snapchat ranks second in terms of the amount of time users will spend with it this year.
Time spent on Snapchat is estimated to grow by 12% this year, which brings total time spent to a little under 30 minutes per user per day.
“Snapchat, when ranked with the rest of the socials, I consider Snapchat second in rankings.
We think it’ll be around 12% growth – so a very, very engaged user base there.
They specifically said, they reported, they’re seeing increased users on their original content with the filters all across that platform.
With Instagram, the minutes are about 30 minutes a day on the platform. Snapchat’s a little bit below that.”