To date, over 445 Discover Stories or Shows have been produced on COVID-19, and more than 68 million users globally have watched COVID-19-related content on the platform, Snapchat said. As users practice social distancing, Snapchat said news and financial sites are seeing increases in activity as they seek to stay informed and plan accordingly in the current environment.
Besides news and financial sites, equity trading apps have also witnessed a jump as Snapchat users seek to pay closer attention to their investments in this time of uncertainty. Meanwhile, online shopping for athleisure, pet products and home goods are also trending as they spend more time shopping on their phones rather than in-store.
Snapchat also said there is a spike in fitness and wellness, streaming and music, gambling games, and mobile gaming, as public entertainment and fitness venues are shut down in accordance with social distancing measures.
Snapchat is not the only company to have seen changes in engagement and its ad business. Facebook said in a recent post that it has seen "a weakening in [its] ads business" in countries taking aggressive actions to curb the spread of the pandemic. On the other hand, it witnessed an increase in engagement on the platform, with total messaging increasing more than 50% in March. Similarly, in areas hardest hit by the virus, voice and video calling have "more than doubled" on Messenger and WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, a recent study by Socialbakers said the number of paid posts on Facebook in Southeast Asia has dipped from close to 25% in January 2020 to lower than 20% in March. On the other hand, organic posts have remained strong, increasing ever so slightly across all regions since the start of the year. Separately, multiple media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg also reported that Twitter issued a profit warning last month, expecting profit for the first quarter of this year to fall short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also affected ad spend on its platform.