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VK study: Interests and behavior of users on the Internet during a pandemic and self-isolation

VKontakte named 7 features of the behavior of Russian Internet users during a pandemic and self-isolation. The social network analyzed how user activity has changed over the past two years.

It became known that the inhabitants of Russia have noticeably lost interest in tourism, as well as in sports.

In contrast, Internet users are increasingly looking for new knowledge online. There was a sharp surge in activity in live broadcasts and group calls – largely due to the large number of educational lectures, classes and trainings.

New acquaintances and communication also flowed online. Explosive growth in adding new friends to VKontakte was shown primarily by teenagers – users aged 14-17 years.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Russia has become addicted to games. Girls were especially interested in them. During self-isolation 2020, the number of girls in the games increased by 45%, and guys – by 22%. The main growth of the audience fell on users under 18 years old. The average time spent in mobile games every day has also increased. In 2021, their daily audience increased by 15%, and the number of projects in the VKontakte mobile games catalog increased by 135%. During self-isolation, the players liked shooters the most, but strategies and puzzles, on the contrary, aroused a little less interest.

2020 and 2021 have solidified another new habit among users – to communicate by voice, and not just in chats. If before the remote period, only generation Z showed interest in voice messages, now the function has become generally accepted and everyday: the audience of the VKontakte messenger that uses voice messages is 33 million people a month.

Another trend: during self-isolation and a pandemic, people have become more likely than before to spend time at computers and laptops, as well as listen to music on these devices. Hip-hop holds the leading position in VK Music streams among all genres. At the same time, mobile devices remain the most used devices: in particular, for viewing short vertical videos.

Despite the fact that the frequency of offline meetings and entertainment events has decreased, users have not given up on ordering short trips around the city. According to the Taxi VKontakte service, young people aged 16–24 were the most likely to call cars. The most popular destinations were restaurants and bars, museums and parks, as well as shopping centers.