The quarantine situation has resulted in the rise of virtual communities where people talk about everyday necessities while safely locked at home.

“With everyone confined to their homes, Filipinos are striving for closer and more meaningful interactions,” said Veronica Feleo, Rakuten Viber’s Business Development Manager,

In a May 21 webinar entitled “Social in the Age of Social Distancing” organized by M2.0 Communications, Inc., Feleo was a panelist together with Lia Ejercito, head of digital and social for M2.0 and Niña Cruz-Zialcita of “Best of the Best Manila,” a Facebook group.

Feleo said “The significant increase in community engagement tells us that Filipinos want to stay connected, and do it more purposefully.

The Department of Health’s Covid-19 Advisory Community and the Food Contacts Community topped the most active communities.

With people barred from face-to-face interaction, the so-called dark social or direct social became very popular as this allows “people to share content through private channels such as instant messaging programs, messaging apps, and e-mail.”

Ejercito noted that “Direct social platforms have also replaced a lot of face-to-face interactions” with many referrals coming from this type of platform.

Cruz-Zialcita said messaging platforms have become community channels where people can connect, communicate and find fast solutions to daily everyday concerns such as the best fruit suppliers or the best home exercises.

“(When) direct social was discovered in the first place, it was all about referrals,” she added, “It works, I think, because it’s very personal, it’s very direct, and it’s very authentic.” Jojo Mangahis