Your Weekly Facebook Trends Update 23.4

Our Social Media team has been briefed by Facebook with three new key COVID-19 trends emerging over the last seven days


People are shifting their lives to become more localised in all aspects, from how they are currently being told to live in lockdown to the products they are looking to purchase.

The green in the below graph highlights an increase in internet usage, whilst the red is showing a reduction. This clearly shows how the workforce has moved from key cities and business parks to surrounding areas.

Source: Cloudshare via Facebook

Over the last two weeks, local food delivery is on the up, suggesting people are looking for the ‘dine out’ experience at home. Food preparation at home has increased drastically since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Source: YouGov UK via Facebook

YouGov has also reported that in Germany, 32% of people are ordering from local businesses, whilst 10% have donated money to a local cause and 11% are purchasing vouchers to be used at a later date. It is assumed that the statistics are similar in the UK.

To support this, Facebook is looking to add Food Delivery Stickers to Instagram Stories and Gift Card purchasing buttons – so keep a look out for this in your feeds!

Facebook also highlights how businesses are using this time of change and people spending more online to a time of transformation. They have identified Aldi as a brand doing this particularly well, moving to food delivery to support vulnerable communities and generate further sales. Also, making their customers their advert in their ‘Swap and Save’ series helps create that local, rather than global feel to their content.

Facebook notes that purchasing locally has been extremely important for customers over the last few weeks and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Not only this, digital excellence becomes business critical as we navigate through this unchartered territory with people unable to leave their homes.


“Traditionally, weekend internet traffic is highly distinguishable from weekday traffic, noted by a two-day hump in traffic, that signature has been eliminated completely.” – Artur Bergman, Executive Chair, Fastly.

This is also visible in the below graph, with 78% spending more time connected on devices.

Source: Global Web Index via Facebook

Since the start of lockdown (27th March on the graph below) until 17th April, there has been a shift in behaviours online. Interestingly, news content has dipped during this time by 1%, which suggests that people are not actively seeking out news as much as they were when the lockdown was initially announced.

Source: YouGov COVID Tracker via Facebook

It is necessary to look at the net figures to understand the full picture. The below graph shows that on-demand video and other activities at home has seen a net increase, whereas ‘luxury’ expenditure such as clothing has seen a decrease, showing that people’s priority is currently to keep entertained at home.

Source: YouGov COVID Tracker via Facebook

Looking to the future, data highlights that after COVID-19, people will want to step away from digital and look to spending more time with friends and family. But they do also want to continue hobbies and cooking from home.

Source: YouGov COVID Tracker via Facebook

On average, it takes people 66 days to form a habit. If the UK is out of lockdown by the 7th May when it is reviewed, that will be 48 days. A longer lockdown could mean lasting change, but context matters. Will the trigger to change stay? Is it easy to stick to? What’s the reward for sticking to this new habit? 

The new lockdown has forced habits to be broken en masse - we’ve certainly all moved to a very different lifestyle over the last few weeks. Trials and experiments have been king, but it won’t last forever. Future content needs to ask; did our audience pick up on new habits, what where they and how can a brand fulfil or support a new habit?


The Institute of Financial Studies has reported that 25% of spending is either impossible or severely discouraged under lockdown. But, 4.2m adults (10% of all adults online) in the UK are spending more on treats for themselves online (Global Web Index COVID Tracker).

Facebook has even seen a huge rise in interactions on Instagram public posts discussing little luxuries.

How people treated themselves prior to COVID-19 is now being emulated at home. Without nail bars, there has been a 24% YOY increase in the purchase of premium nail products online. No pubs has led to a 22% increase in sales of alcohol. The number of sales of oat milk has increased by 500% whilst people get their coffee fix, and Mindful Chef has seen an increase of 452% new customers as customers look for that dine out experience at home.

Brands are now picking up on customer’s desire for normality, with Iceland plugging an at home Nando's product line, Haagen-Dazs partnering with Secret Cinema to create a ‘Secret Sofa’ and Netflix collaborating with Ben & Jerry’s. Brands are starting to look at how their products can be a substitute for activities customers would have normally enjoyed prior to COVID-19.

Facebook’s big take out from this, is how can we give people that feeling of a treat, or a little moment of joy? What are people missing by being stuck in-home and how can a brand substitute this?

Look out for the Social Media team’s round-up of the latest Facebook news next week!