Research office Soda conducts annual research into the status quo of Netherlands social media behaviour. The research went differently this year than had been expected. “The Soda Social Media Monitor 2020 was about to be released as the coronavirus crisis sparked a storm of changing social media behaviour especially in platforms like TikTok. This is why we decided to perform additional research to provide more background in corona’s effect on social media use.

This has ensured that we have a well-balanced view of how the Dutch use social media and the impact of corona on it. “Karel Stoel, Business Intelligence Specialist at Soda, says. “Overall, we see that the effects we’ve already seen are accelerating. The social media that had already grown are now growing faster. This can obviously be seen in the use of TikTok. Vice versa, the same accelerated effect is seen in the decline in Facebook usage in the Netherlands. TikTok is more popular since the coronavirus pandemic begun

TikTok is more popular since the coronavirus pandemic

When asked about the social media channels used, young people (<25 years of age) indicate that they are most likely to use WhatsApp (99 percent), Instagram (98 percent) and YouTube (93 percent).

TikTok with 43 per cent is the sixth channel amongst young people. Snapchat (84 per cent) and Pinterest (47 per cent) still are among them. Only 23 percent say they’re using Facebook. This shows, in particular, that young people use a lot of different social medias.

That’s why the question was asked to make the top 3 in the study. These answers show a clear top three with Instagram (83 percent), WhatsApp (71 percent) and YouTube (63 percent). In addition, 37% of young people rank Snapchat among the three social media favorites and 19% regard TikTok as one of the three favorites.

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Only 3% of young people rank Facebook in the top 3. A surprising trend from the thorough studies into corona effect is that 73 percent of young people say they have used TikTok more frequently since the virus outbreak.


This effect is also strong for Instagram and YouTube (78% and 68%, respectively), but it can logically be explained by the overall increase in the use of social media. This edition of the study also includes the viewing of streams and videos related to gaming. It is surprising that 4 out of 10 young people in the Netherlands say they watch live streams of video games once a week or more. This is also done regularly by 30% on Twitch, Amazon’s streaming platform.

Facebook’s popularity is coming down

WhatsApp (96 per cent), Instagram (84 per cent) and YouTube (81 per cent) are also most commonly used in the middle group (25-44 years). It’s surprising that Facebook’s popularity is going down badly.

It is used in this group as among young people, making Facebook the fourth channel in this group. The exact opposite is true for Snapchat, which uses 3x young people as often as 25-44 years of age. When asked about the main three social media platforms, we see a clearer difference when it comes to choosing which channels are the most important, only 4 percent of Facebook’s personal top 3 channels. WhatsApp, Instagram and YouTube are the favorites here as well.


TikTok is also used more often by this group during the covid-19 crisis, as 47% of those polled between the ages of 25 and 44 say more often  after the outbreak they use TikTok. In the case of Facebook, 56 percent say they’ve started using it more often since the outbreak. This could potentially be linked to an increased need for news.

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In the oldest study group (45 +), WhatsApp is number 1 with 80% implying that it is being used regularly. Facebook (62%) and Messenger (45 percent of the population) are at the top three.  Only 34% say they’re using the popular Instagram. As anticipated, Snapchat and TikTok are hardly used by this group (2 percent and 1 percent, respectively).

74 percent say they use more Facebook than they did before the outbreak. 66 per cent say that for WhatsApp.

Logical increase of home entertainment

Additional corona research also shows that young people have started working from home, streaming, gaming, listening to music and playing board games or puzzles considerably more than people over 25 years of age. They’re also going out in nature a lot more often now. It is therefore clear that young people in particular are looking for a different way to spend their time. The temporary closure of sports clubs is also clearly visible; both young people (47 per cent), 25-44 year-olds (34 per cent) and over-45s (47 per cent) show that they have had less exercise since the outbreak.


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