back to list

Home quarantine changed the way we internet

Moving beyond our phone screens amid the pandemic


What's going on?

Shut inside from the outside world, we have been inevitably spending more time online – heavily depending on services that allow us to work and learn from home. However, data providers SimilarWeb and Apptopia reported a shift in the way Americans are using the internet amid the quarantine and lockdown.


Firstly, the analysis of the data reveals that despite being pushed to their devices to stay connected and entertained, Americans are surprisingly using their phones less. Over the decade, the improvement of mobile technology has given more access to capabilities that were previously only available on desktops and laptops while on-the-go. With an increase in faster and more powerful devices, users of services and social media outlets such as Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube have moved increasingly to accessing the services through phone apps instead of the websites on desktops. However, with computers at a closer distance than pre-pandemic, Americans seem to have resorted back to the convenience of browsing the internet on a bigger screen.


SimilarWeb and Apptopia drew their traffic numbers from several independent sources to generate data that can be compared across the internet. The data found that Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube all experienced a growth in user numbers on their websites with an increase of 27% for Facebook, 16% for Netflix, and 15.3% for YouTube. At the same time, however, their phone apps saw a decline in traffic in comparison.


In particular, Facebook saw a slight increase with 1.1% and Netflix with a rise of 0.3%. YouTube, on the other hand, experienced a decrease of 4.5% in their app usage, which indicates that Americans are streaming videos on bigger screens on their desktops as compared to their phones. With technology playing a crucial role in keeping the society functional through this pandemic, businesses will need to anticipate and adapt to the everchanging trends of service usage that will result from such uncertain times.