With the coronavirus quarantine at its height, people all over the world have turned to the internet to keep the world going. The interesting part is that the internet has not just become more popular, it has changed. It appears that people are using their phones less and their desktop or laptop computers more. Social media usage, unsurprisingly, is up, as is the popularity of streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. More interestingly, previously obscure apps like Google Duo, Houseparty, and Nextdoor.com are suddenly incredibly popular, likely due to their video features. During the quarantine people are eager for more personal, face-to-face conversations than in normal life.
While news sites like CNN.com and nytimes.com have become more popular, Wikipedia, surprisingly, has seen a marked decrease in popularity. It seems that people seeking reliable information are completely unwilling to visit the open-edit wiki, driving the service into a steep decline. Meanwhile, the popularity of in-person sports, which can no longer be played with live fans, is dropping while the video game industry is skyrocketing. Game live-streaming services like Twitch now have millions of new visitors each day. Overall, the internet has not only become more popular it has become more connected. People are no longer just using the internet for fun, they are using it to learn and stay connected with others at a time when staying connected is incredibly difficult. View all of the graphs below. All data comes from the New York Times.