Covid-19 Dominated Facebook IQ’s Topics to Watch for March 2020

Disinfectants, distance education, pandemic, web conferencing made the list

Conversation about pandemic skyrocketed 757.9 times versus March 2019 DKosig/iStock
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It came as no surprise that topics related to the coronavirus pandemic dominated the list of Topics to Watch for March 2020 from Facebook IQ.

Conversation about disinfectant was up 59.6 times compared with March 2019 and 1.7 times versus February 2020.

Men 25 and older held a slight edge over the female counterpart in driving up talk about disinfectant and associated topics alcohol, bleach, Clorox, coronavirus, Environmental Protection Agency, hand sanitizer, Lysol, microorganism, soap and virus.

Facebook IQ wrote, “Disinfectants are antimicrobial agents that kill or neutralize surface microorganisms by interfering with microbes’ metabolisms or destroying their cell walls. Because of Covid-19, people are ordering disinfectant products online to stay safe and healthy. There are a number of commercially available disinfectant products such as bleaches, sprays and hand sanitizers. The pandemic has increased interest in both the efficacy of disinfectants, as well as how people can create their own disinfectant products.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Men 18 through 64 were the driving force behind year-over-year conversation growth of 173.9 times and a month-over-month spike of 50.6 times about distance education.

Associated topics included child, coronavirus, education, educational technology, kindergarten, learning, school, student, teacher and videotelephony.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “Distance education is a form of teaching and learning where courses are delivered via the internet without in-person interaction between student and instructor. With many classrooms shut down due to Covid-19, distance learning is becoming a widespread option for providing education to students of all ages. Distance learning is now widely used for elementary and secondary schools and higher education, with many schools bringing their classes online. Businesses are using distance learning for professional development and, with more time on their hands, many people are using distance education for personal and career development, as well. People across the nation are adapting to life during the pandemic, and new tools for virtual learning are becoming more widespread.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Conversation about pandemic and associated topics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronavirus, epidemic, epidemiology, infection, National Institutes of Health, U.S., virus and World Health Organization skyrocketed 757.9 times versus March 2019 and 14.7 times compared with February 2020.

Facebook users 35 and older drove the gains.

Facebook IQ wrote, “A pandemic is a disease outbreak affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population and occurring over a wide geographic area. The Covid-19 outbreak was officially declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11, 2020. In response to the current pandemic, many people worldwide are practicing social distancing, staying at home and keeping up to date with the news. As Covid-19 affects communities around the world, people continue to seek out the latest information related to this pandemic.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Men 35 and older washed down their research on the coronavirus with powdered milk, spearheading year-over-year growth of 2.4 times and a month-over-month increase of 1.6 times.

Associated topics included baking powder, butter, cream, egg, flour, frybread, sugar, tablespoon, teaspoon and vanilla extract.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “Powdered milk is created by filtering fresh dairy milk and evaporating it into condensed milk. It is then dried until all that is left is particles not much larger than specks of dust. This results in a product that doesn’t require refrigeration and has a longer shelf life than traditional liquid milk. Powdered milk has a range of uses, and it can easily replace liquid milk in baking. People have a heightened interest in finding foods with a long shelf life, and powdered milk is becoming a popular choice for stockpiling.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Men 35 and older were the primary force behind a 3.5 times increase in upcycling talk compared with March 2019 and a 0.6 times uptick from February.

Associated topics included BrainPop, corset, CuriosityStream, do-it-yourself, Emily Graslie, flip-flops, recycling, repurposing, Science (referring to the television network), SciShow, sneakers and Udemy.

Facebook IQ wrote, “The term upcycling refers to making something new of quality out of unused or unwanted products, manufacturing byproducts or even waste materials. Its benefits include reducing the environmental impact of unused or waste products and saving money through reuse. With many people physically distancing themselves from others because of coronavirus, upcycling items around the home, such as gently worn fabrics, has become a popular do-it-yourself activity. People are also searching for online upcycling tutorials on crafting face masks from old garments, and some are even donating their creations to those in need. Upcycling is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly activity, and it’s finding new followers during this time.”

Facebook IQ


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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