COVID-19, Social Distancing and Social Media : Evidence from Twitter and Facebook Users in Korea


Jin Seon Choe, Jaecheol Park, Sojung Yoon

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The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unprecedentedly changing the world since its outbreak in late 2019. Using the collected the data related to COVID-19 and the social media user data from a mobile application market research agency from January 25 to April 7, this study empirically examines the effect of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, the number news COVID-19, and the enforcement of social distancing measures on the daily active users (DAU) of two social media services – Twitter and Facebook – in South Korea. There are three important findings from the results of econometric analysis. First, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has a negative effect on the DAU of social media. Second, the number of COVID-19 news is negatively associated with the DAU of social media. Finally, the implementation of social distancing measures has no significant effect on the DAU of the social media. Theoretical implications and managerial guidelines are also discussed.


Ⅰ. Introduction
Ⅱ. Literature Review
2.1. Tragic Events
2.2. Social Media
2.3. Social Distancing
Ⅲ. Hypotheses Development
3.1. Confirmed Case, News, and Social Media Usage
3.2. Social Distancing and Social Media Usage
Ⅳ. Research Setting
4.1. Data Collection
4.2. Model specification and Measurement
Ⅴ. Data Analysis and Results
5.1. Main Result
5.2. Additional Analysis
Ⅵ. Discussion and Implications
6.1. Theoretical Implication
6.2. Practical Implication
Ⅶ. Conclusion


  • Jin Seon Choe Research Fellow, Yonsei Business Research Institute, Yonsei University, Korea / Researcher, ICT Convergence Reserch Institute, Sookmyung Women's University, Korea
  • Jaecheol Park Ph.D. Student, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Sojung Yoon Master’s Degree Student, School of Business, Yonsei University, Korea


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