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Reproduced from Nielsen; Chart: Axios Visuals

While usage of most mobile apps has remained neutral during the coronavirus pandemic, social media app usage has exploded during the lockdown, according to new data from Nielsen.

Why it matters: Prior to the pandemic, consumers and tech companies were both becoming more aware of the overuse of social media and actively trying to limit it. In a time when people can't connect with friends and family in person, companies have put these efforts on pause.

By the numbers: Prior to the pandemic, social media usage for most of January, February and early March remained relatively flat at around 20% of total mobile app usage, according to Nielsen's data.

  • But beginning in mid-March, when statewide stay-at-home orders went into effect, social media app usage began to increase significantly, and now consumes around 25% of all mobile app usage for U.S. adults.
  • Other media app usage, like video, lifestyle, and finance apps have mostly remained the same, in part because consumers are now leveraging other devices, like desktops and television screens, for more activities while home.

The bottom line: The coronavirus pandemic is deepening users' immersion in social media at a moment when society had just begun to question it.

Go deeper: Tech companies target your sanity

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

The Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings: The Corona companies

Data: Harris Poll COVID19 Tracker Wave 20; Table: Axios Visuals

Americans really love Clorox right now.

The big picture:: The coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a new wave of public approval for companies that have helped modernize and digitize the American household, according to a new Axios/Harris poll.

1 hour ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.