/US social media giants like Insta, Facebook and YouTube gain from ban on Chinese apps

US social media giants like Insta, Facebook and YouTube gain from ban on Chinese apps

(This story originally appeared in on Jul 21, 2020)

NEW DELHI: The ban on Chinese apps, especially popular ones like ByteDance’s TikTok and Helo, is resulting in a windfall for US social media giants like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Since the government banned 59 Chinese apps on June 30, the average daily time spent on Instagram has more than doubled (up 2.3 times), and Facebook has also seen a significant jump in the time spent on the platform.

Interestingly, the time being spent by Indians on social media and video apps in a day has not come down by a large degree, indicating that users have jumped ship and have switched over to new platforms, according to a study by online insights measurement company Kantar.

Giving details about the digital behaviour pattern of online users since the ban on Chinese apps, Kantar’s Web Audience Measurement (WAM) panel showed that the US-based internet companies have managed to regain market share that they had been losing due to the fast-paced growth and popularity of the Chinese apps, especially TikTok.

“Given that users were spending hours every week across these (Chinese) platforms, one would have expected to see a dip in the overall time spent online once these platforms were no longer accessible. However, the average time spent dropped only marginally — by 6% — from 6 hours 37 minutes to 6 hours 15 minutes, indicating that consumers are switching over to rival platforms much faster than anticipated,” the analysis showed.

For Instagram and Facebook, gains were almost immediate. The daily average time spent on Instagram went up from 16 minutes to 37 minutes. Facebook saw an increase from 30 minutes in a day to 40 minutes.

According to the study, video platform YouTube remains the dominant player, and rather made further gains. “Already the most popular video platform in the country, it saw a further 25% increase in time-spent which went from 57 minutes in a day to 70 minutes,” Kantar said.

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