According to a joint report by BARC India and Nielsen, smartphone users have spent almost three hours more on their mobile phones in the week ended March 27, 2020 compared to average usage in pre-COVID-19 time.

As per the data, the average time spent grew by 12 per cent, from 23.6 hours per user per week, to 26.4 hours per user per week during the last week.

However, the increase in time spent remained same in metros at 11 per cent, mini metros at 15 per cent and tier II cities at 12 per cent.

Interestingly the tier I cities witnessed 8 per cent increase. Among the different age groups, users falling in age bracket of 35-44 years have shown maximum increase of 18 per cent, followed by 15-24 years at 12 per cent and 25-34 years at 9 per cent.

As per the report, among the biggest gainers during the time of social distancing, were social media, chats, videos streaming and news apps.

Meanwhile, the call time has seen just 5 per cent increase over pre-COVID time, whereas there has been a 43 per cent surge in the time spent on the chat services to 322 minutes. Social media also has seen a 42 per cent increase in overall time spent to 274 minutes.

Further, news apps witnessed a 45 per cent increase in time spent to 40 minutes per week, and a 17 per cent increase in users. During the week, 22 per cent of entire smartphone users accessed news apps on their phones.

Additionally, there has been an increase of 26 per cent and 11 per cent in the time spent on gaming and video streaming, respectively. Users spent 191 minutes on gaming, and 236 minutes on video streaming.

The data suggested that audio streaming has also seen a dip of 18 per cent to a total of 67 minutes during the week, from a total of 82 minutes in pre-COVID-19 times.

Meanwhile, the lockdown has impacted the e-commerce and payment services and apps significantly. Shopping has gone down from 43 minutes per user in a week to 26 minutes, marking 38 per cent drop. Travel sites have witnessed 53 per cent drop to 7 minutes per week. Further, food ordering has also gone down by 41 per cent to 10 minutes, while mobile payments services’ time spent has reduced from 31 minutes in the past to 25 minutes per user during the period.