In January 2020, the first patient in the U.S. was diagnosed with COVID-19. Since then, people have drastically changed the way they live. As consumers practice social distancing, they have transitioned to remote work and are utilizing online video conferencing tools as their primary means of face-to-face communication.
At Verto Analytics, we collect behavioral data (including the activity of consumers across all the devices they own and regularly use: smartphones, PCs, and tablets) to uncover valuable patterns and insights about how people behave online. To better understand the pandemic’s impact on video conferencing services, we tapped into our Audience Metrics product. This data feed leverages our passive audience measurement panel to offer market researchers a cross-device view of key performance indicators for online brands across all market segments by both age and gender.
How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected the Video Conferencing Landscape?
Below, we compared the total unique visitor counts from January 2020 (pre-COVID-19) through August 2020 for selected video conferencing services:
In the chart above, we consistently observe an uptick in unique visitors from January 2020 (before COVID-19 lockdowns) and April 2020 (after lockdowns) across all services. Zoom and Google Meet had the largest increases in unique visitors—at +7.4X and +6.8X, respectively. In fact, stocks for Zoom Video Communications Inc. were so highly desired that a similarly named company, Zoom Technologies Inc., saw massive increases in its stock price, leading to a temporary trading suspension in March 2020 due to ticker confusion. It should be noted that other conferencing services such as Skype and Google Duo peaked in unique visitors after the initial post-lockdown month of April 2020.
Who Spends the Most Time Using These Video Conferencing Services?
To better understand the user bases of some of the most popular video services, we dove into the share of time spent by age and gender:
Despite each of the above services growing significantly throughout the pandemic, their demographics differ quite substantially. We see that females spend much more time on Google Duo than males, while males are more engaged on Skype and Zoom. Looking at age, Zoom skews more heavily toward older people than Google Duo and Skype, with a third of minutes spent by people aged 55+. Although Google Duo and Skype differ in the share of time spent by gender, both services see people aged 18-34 spend the majority of the time.
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