FP TrendingJul 01, 2021 19:36:39 IST
Twitter contributed massively to the public conversation over the past year, especially during the second wave of COVID-19. In April-May this year, the social media giant became India’s real-time helpline for people seeking medical aid, while many others volunteered to help by sharing relevant and life-saving information about available resources on the platform. Tweets related to COVID-19 grew extensively from 1 April to 31 May this year, witnessing 100 percent growth in COVID-related conversations in comparison to February and March.
The platform introduced several features and initiatives as a part of the COVID-19 conversation in India. Some of the dedicated COVID-19 hubs on Twitter were the Explore page, several Twitter Events pages, media and civil society sources in local languages, an SOS page and related Topics, among others.
Analysing its growth trajectory in April and May, Twitter has classified the conversations into four broad categories. Take a look:
– The first category is medical help, where tweet exchanges between help seekers and volunteers witnessed a 1.5x increase. Tweets around seeking or providing medical help went up by 1,958 percent (20x). There was a 77 percent rise in the usage of #Covid19 during the second wave, #Blood was tweeted 72 percent more as compared to the Feb-March period, #Plasma saw an 834 percent increase and #SOS was tweeted 152 percent more, as per a recent analysis.
Tweets with #Vaccine and #Vaccination rose by 246 percent. This conversation was backed by an introduction of a home timeline by the platform that provided vaccine-related updates and information from authoritative sources.
– Information sharing is the second category where hashtags such as #CoronavirusUpdates, #CoronaIndiaUpdate, #Covid19IndiaResources, among others increased the conversations by 916 percent. Given the fact that various expert organizations, official government bodies, health professionals and epidemiologists use the service, people relied on it to find accurate information on the best COVID-19 practices, latest developments, vaccination drives and other relevant information.
– The third category is raising funds. Tweets in this category were related to people coming forward to contribute to relief efforts and fundraising, resulting in an increase of 731 percent in conversations. Australian cricketer Pat Cummins’ (@patcummins30) tweet announcing monetary support to India became the most liked and retweeted post on the platform during the period of April-May.
– Lastly, the fourth category is mental health which has remained the top priority during the pandemic. It recorded a 153 percent (2.5x) increase during the surge in coronavirus cases. People tweeted with hashtags such as #DoctorsMentalHealth, #CovidCounselling, #CovidDepression, #CovidInsomnia and more.
There was also a 530 percent increase in tweets with #IndiaFightsCorona, among local and state-related conversations. #DelhiFightsCorona and #MaharashtraFightsCorona saw a significant increase in tweets, with conversations rising by 1,872 percent and 2,377 percent, respectively.