It probably comes as no surprise to find that internet use has surged in most households during lockdown. With many of us working and studying from home, the added demands put upon our broadband connections are obvious, but you may be surprised just how much more time we’re all spending online.
Ofcom’s annual Online Nation report has shown that in April 2020 –– the height of the coronavirus lockdown –– adults in the UK spent an average of over fours hours a day online. This is up from just under three and a half hours in September last year.
Video is one of the most bandwidth-hungry forms of media you can consume on your home broadband connection, and during lockdown we have all craved more of it than ever.
The number of people making video calls doubled during lockdown, with seven in ten of us signing on at least once a week for a video chat. Two platforms that saw a significant surge in users –– Houseparty and Zoom –– are both video calling services. Houseparty went from 175,000 adult visitors in January to four million in April, and Zoom grew even more, going from 659,000 users to an astonishing 13 million in the same period.
As well as using video to connect with others, the use of video on social media has boomed during lockdown. Social media platforms that allow users to stream videos –– including YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok –– have become a part of our everyday lives.
Ofcom’s research has shown that nine in ten adults with access to the internet use at least one of these, with many doing so several times a day. In fact, one third (32%) of adults that use the internet now spend more time viewing video-sharing services than broadcast television.
TikTok has kept us entertained while stuck at home, with users uploading videos of themselves dancing, singling, lip-syncing, cracking jokes, or just talking and sharing their experiences. At the beginning of the year, pre-COVID-19 lockdown, TikTok had 5.4 million UK visitors, compared to the 12.9 million who logged on in April.
But we’re not just watching other people’s content online, apparently two in five adults, and 59% of older children, are creating, uploading and sharing their own video content, driving an explosion in short-form, user-generated content while was cooped-up at home.
Even though lockdown measures are slowly starting to ease off, life without broadband would still be unthinkable, and we’re likely to need a strong, reliable connection at home for a lot longer than we first thought.
There’s no need to suffer from slow broadband as a fast connection is almost always available. Broadband providers have restarted home installations with plenty of measures in place to keep both you and the engineers safe.
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