By now, we already know the full scale of global quarantine and how the COVID-19 infection impacted pretty much everyone. Sadly, a lot of people suffered financial losses. Tourism, entertainment and fashion are arguably the three industries which suffered the greatest losses at this time of worldwide crisis. However, certain other trends emerged amidst this chaos. Influencers, famous people and social media personalities had to change their behaviour, just like the rest of us. As a result, our social media feeds are changing as well. Here are a few ways that coronavirus quarantine has impacted our social media feeds!
Table of Contents
More posts and more likes
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the quarantine, Instagram reported an overall increase of engagement rates which is close to 20-30%.
We get more posts, too. With more people comes more likes, comments, shares and saves, even though most companies are reluctant to do new business with influencers. If you want to stay ahead of the game, but struggle obtaining likes, comments and/or video views
Everything related to travel just sort of… died
As the title of this Vox article might suggest, everyone who was relying on travel, hotels and tourism-related content is out of work entirely or almost entirely.
With airlines grounded, hotels rooms vacant and beaches deserted, our feeds are rarely ‘blessed’ by the occurrence of a photograph or video that isn’t taken in a home, backyard, patio or private area. Those who are being published are almost always taken before quarantine, meaning no original content.
Social distancing, travel restrictions and general fear in everyone’s mind has put travel blogger’s backs against the wall. People who were travel bloggers, tourism influencers now have nothing to do and thus, only upload pics with hashtags such as ‘Take me back’ or ‘Throwback’. Their posting is also much less frequent as well.
Even travel agencies and airlines stopped sending newsletters, so tourism, travel and hotels were hit pretty hard. Some estimates might suggest that close to 75 to 100 million jobs worldwide are at risk. At the same time, thousands of bloggers and influencers subsequently lost their only source of income.
With planes grounded and a total home-lockdown, you could expect people to long and miss travel so much that they would be flocking to view even old photos and videos from exotic locations, but nope… That is not the case, which could be explained that people just miss being outside in general. Local parks, busy downtown areas or a concert venue seems like a more realistic option right now. They do not consider travelling to be safe.
Fashion tries to adapt
With clothing sales dipping 20, 30, 50 or sometimes even 90-98%, fashion houses which weren’t selling online are especially devastated by the recent virus outbreak. These would be premium, high-street fashion names which were only selling in select stores or boutiques. Online retail was considered to be not worth their while.
Well, such an attitude cost them a lot. In clothing, almost all transactions became digital last month with clothes sales online jumping up 40% from the previous year in the UK. This increase still cannot offset the losses, suffered in physical retail.
With spring street fashion entirely eliminated from, well, the streets, fashion influencers are having a hard time trying to adapt. However, thanks to the enormous creativity of fashionistas, fashion posts are far from dead. Those who follow influencers in this particular niche saw that improvised looks are trending. For example, Instagram influencers started a trend like #Pillowfashion. Check out the pic below, if you haven’t seen it yet.
Stuff like this caught on very quickly and ladies (mostly), who undoubtably make up the majority in the fashion scene, were using pillows and wrapping themselves in dresses made from bedding blankets. Since street fashion died, influencers created ‘home fashion’. Of course, these trends are quite silly and made for entertainment purposes, thus will likely not stick around for long. Even with that being said, when compared with travel-related content, fashion people are not struggling as hard.
DIY & home improvement made a huge leap
Buzzfeed published a piece where they claimed that Tie-dye is the ‘official look of quarantine’. Actually, Tie-dye is one of those trends that isn’t new and isn’t trending for the first time. However, each time it gets in the loop, it never falls out of it and fails to die off entirely (pun very much intended).
It’s a cycle. Tie-dye becomes popular for a while, then goes out of fashion. Slowly. After a few years, it always comes back.
Nowadays, we can see that Tie-dye sweats are becoming a very hot trend with tons of influencers encouraging people to make their own sets. We also see new tutorials on how to make your own Tie-dye clothes, available on IG.
On the other side of the DIY spectrum, Pinterest-related stuff and home improvement influencers are bathing in success from otherwise, a miserable situation. Just before nation-wide quarantines and social distancing guidelines were imposed, people in most countries flocked to home improvement markets, just like this pic of Poland.
Other articles also strongly suggest that almost everyone focused or is focusing more on their homes during this time of crisis. You have more tutorials, bigger discounts for gardening and home improvement materials and a general public desire to use this spare time for improvement of the quality of their livelihood.
This is why haven’t seen a noticeable reduction in IG content for gardening, repairs, interior design, etc.
Much more beauty posts
Since a lot of beauty influencers were already filming, editing and creating their content from home, the lockdown did not affect their routines too much. Since businesses are more hesitant towards collaborating, they spend this time making tutorials and doing challenges.
Nevertheless, for them, it is very challenging to try to go out and find new products to buy because blindly buying beauty products online is risky. Skin tones might not match, colours could be off, and the overall look could be ruined just because something did not add up 100%. We get slightly less new product reviews, but we see professional makeup artists offering free courses during quarantine, etc.
With that being said, it is important to also note that beauty posts are getting a lot more recognition also because people really miss the chance to take care of themselves. This is probably why this meme and others like it are going viral…
Hair care, makeup and nails are receiving engagement rates which are far from shabby. Individuals on IG are already thinking about their next haircut, nail style and eyelash correction job.
Some data also suggests, however, that plastic surgery is on a slight decline. Psychologists suggest that during this long wait where most countries imposed restrictions on non-vital medical services, people actually became more comfortable with themselves and the impulse, which commonly leads to plastic surgery, has worn off on a lot of them.
Musicians, entertainers and venues started live streaming for virtual audiences
Artists, producers, singers, athletes and the whole industry of entertainment, which encompasses everything from the NBA, all the way to underground techno raves and photo artists, has been devastated by the coronavirus quarantine.
From top to bottom, both local underground talent and global stars and starlets saw tons of shows and performances cancelled due to restrictions on gatherings. However, artists and entertainers are creative people and couldn’t be called ‘Entertainers’ or ‘Artists’ if they weren’t able to find a creative and entertaining way to pop back into our feeds.
It’s simple – do entertainment for free. In music, household names like John Legend went on IG live to give the people what they want – free, improvised live music concerts.
A lot of these performances are also done with a good cause, too. Hip-Hop mogul Diddy and world-class athlete Lebron James teamed up for an IG live video to raise money for COVID-19 relief. It’s good to see that over 100 thousand people simultaneously watched their favourite entertainers just have a good time and contributed to a common cause.
So, from this perspective, we can see that entertainers are out of work, but they are doing their best to remain in the public eye. They are using their brands and millions of social media followers to help channel society’s efforts to help those in need!
Trends from all over the place
Russians rarely struggle with creativity issues. With close to 140 million Russians living worldwide, you are always bound to find interesting, eye-catching or sometimes even wacky social media trends amongst them. What started as a Facebook group for Russian diaspora abroad, turned into a massive trend for a lot of people and is slowly transition to Instagram. It’s called #artisolation, and here’s how it looks.
Basically, people try to take any painting, picture or work of art and replicate it to the best of their artistic abilities. The catch is that you have to do it without leaving your home, entirely dedicating yourself to create art in isolation and quarantine conditions. No Photoshop is allowed.
The trend is mostly popular on Facebook, still, but occasional posts are popping up on IG as well. We hope to see more of it because who would be able to say that this rework of Vermeer’s ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ that we got from one online news site, wouldn’t brighten their day…?
Healthcare and medical stuff – massive, but not monumental surge
It’s quite self-explanatory why in two months, the World Health Organisation’s Instagram profile (@WHO) doubled its follower count from 2.4 million on February 14th, to almost 5 million in mid-April.
No explanation needed, right? However, at the same time, healthcare personnel and doctors, who are fighting in the frontlines, fail to receive an equally impressive amount of recognition. There has been much more praise for them from the outside, from regular people, but not where specific media outlets or organisations highlight their efforts and achievements. The latter are generalised and attributed to everyone and no one…
Of course, doctors and health care workers are busy and tired 24/7, but social media following and engagement increase of their content could be considered slightly underwhelming.
Italy, which is one of the hardest-hit countries, is the only place where we see a slight exemption. It’s probably the only country where pics, stories and testimonials of medical collect 100-500 thousand or even 1 million likes. If you understand Italian – the following post could touch the bottom of your heart. If you don’t – hop on to Google Translate and see why healthcare workers and medics deserve much more praise and recognition!
Of course, there are funny and entertaining videos of doctors in various other countries, but the exposure is minuscule when we line it up against their efforts.
Tik-Toks posted on Instagram
Tik-Tok is the hottest new kid on the block. However, even though many people own a Tik-Tok account, the view counts and exposure on there is still lower than that of Instagram’s. This is why people create content on TikTok but post it on IG for much more exposure and views. If you have an account, you have probably seen a major spike in Tik-Tok or Tik-Tok-like content on IG.
Prime example? #fliptheswitch challenge