DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
By: Olja Milanović, Account Executive, Fusion Communications
Since a considerable part of the population is self-isolating, people turn to technology in order to work, communicate and have fun. Every day we talk about increased consumption of digital media, huge number of hits on web portals and the explosion of social media communication, but let us review the apps which have globally recorded a rise in the number of downloads and users during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Social media/Video apps
TikTok is at the very top of the list of most downloaded apps in March, as the most popular video app with more than 115.2 million downloads worldwide. It deserves special mention. It has been a while since a new social media app made such an impact that those not using it felt they were missing out on an experience. If you recall, this was previously the case with Snapchat which is still holding its own since it was among the top ten apps in March. As far as TikTok is concerned, we have already covered it, but it still bears repeating that it has snatched the attention of an entire generation with its fast, short video format, and that the app currently has 500 million users. Still, if this platform aims last longer than its 15 seconds videos it will have to address this year’s key challenges related to domains of security, regulation and, thus, provides better destination for brand presence.
2. Messaging apps
The first thing that comes to our mind during a global pandemic is the health and welfare of those closest to us. You always and again wish to stay connected with your loved ones and get the latest information about their life and health. In order to satisfy that need, you need a reliable communication channel, so it’s no surprise that messaging apps are at the top of the most downloaded list during the last couple of months. WhatsApp was the top downloaded chat app in March. It has been downloaded about 76.3 million times worldwide. Its popularity can be mostly attributed to its various functions, such as: dark screen mode, status update, use of gifs and emoticons in the messages, group creation, call function and may others. WhatsApp is closely followed by ZOOM, Facebook and Messenger which were among the top five apps in all categories in March.
3. Teleworking apps
Skype, Zoom, Houseparty
Pandemic has forced people to turn to business communication apps, and the biggest rise is recorded by the currently mega popular app – Zoom. What should be the leading criterion when choosing a video chat app: ease of communication, app distribution or data safety? Most certainly all three. Even with the surfacing of information on the compromised security of data on the Zoom platform, it remained at the top of the most downloaded list, leaving behind Skype and Houseparty, where Houseparty has also experienced a surprising rise. These apps integrate working process and social interaction and the same technology is currently among the most sought means of socializing and hooking-up: with video and audio recordings.
4. Entertainment apps
Entertainment turned to be vital to us during the self-isolation. The excess of free time that we are currently spending indoors instead of outdoors makes us look of new ways to entertain ourselves in our homes, and watching movies and TV-shows is one of such ways. With personalised recommendations and good content, Netflix streaming has increased considerably with the arrival of corona virus pandemic. Netflix downloads have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and it thus holds the position of the top streaming app in the world with 59.1 million downloads. Still, some markets, such as US, have experienced a Netflix fatigue so the Disney platform took the lead there, with 14.1 million downloads, as opposed to Netflix’s 11.9.
5. Learning apps
Global pandemic did not hobble only the global economy but the global education system, as well. However, just because you’re staying at home does not mean that you’re prevented from learning. There are a lot of apps for online interactive learning used by teachers and students worldwide. This is precisely why it’s hardly surprising to find Google Classroom among the top ten apps in March. Since schools and universities worldwide are closed due to the corona virus outbreak, Google classroom allows teachers and students to communicate without much effort. This, at least judging by the number of downloads, leading learning app enables teachers and students to create groups, distribute tasks and directly lead discussions.
Although maybe not the most downloaded during the corona virus pandemic, the shopping apps have definitely experienced a rise in the number of users. One of the best and most consistent shopping apps, Amazon delivers almost anything you might need to your doorstep. Regardless of whether you want groceries, gadgets, clothes or everyday use items, Amazon will deliver almost anything. With a 24 hour delivery, with two offered delivery schedules and minimal additional charges, app can be your perfect online choice for procurement of daily supplies. Also, the performance gap between online Walmart and Amazon has continued to widen in the week from April 19th in the US, since Amazon has experienced an increase of almost 100% when compared to last year, primarily due to sudden demand caused by the corona virus pandemic. Walmart has experienced a growth of 15% when compared to the same period last year.
6. Covid19 tracker app
The app tracking Covid-19 symptoms has become one of the most popular and most downloaded apps in UK. Its developers aimed to provide an insight into why certain people contracted a more serious form of the disease than the others. They also hope to create a map showing epidemic hot spots that would also help to distinguish between cases of corona and cases of common cold. Currently, Covid Symptom Tracker is the third most popular app in the Apple store and the second on Google Play’s new apps list in UK.
7. Antianxiety app
Self-isolation or a prolonged stay indoors could lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety. Google’s 2011 study has demonstrated that meditation induces considerable changes in specific parts of the brain linked to memory, self-awareness, empathy and stress. There are many apps that can help you combat the rising anxiety and the recently most downloaded among these is Calm.
Food delivery apps
Since we are prevented from going to our favourite restaurants due to corona virus pandemic, we can resort to food delivery apps with a tempting offer, top quality and hygienic conditions for safe online food ordering. During the first week of March, the sale of groceries and food has risen by almost 42.4 % when compared to the same period last year.
Fitness applications for home training
Gyms and fitness clubs worldwide were forced to close their doors due to corona virus outbreak and people have to stay indoors to remain healthy. However, just because we’re in isolation does not mean that we cannot train or maintain our little rituals. An act seeming normal to a few might create a lot of problems for fitness fans. But as they say- where’s a problem, there’s a solution – let’s train at home.
The number of downloads when it comes to fitness apps has increased by 40% in March. In the same period, American users have spent 59 million dollars on health apps and 36 million dollars on fitness apps.
In UK, the number of downloads has increased by 65% after the introduction of stricter Covid-19 measures, and the users have spent 2.9 million dollars on fitness & health apps.
The top 10 fitness apps recorded an increase of 5 million downloads during March in comparison to December of 2019 – an increase of 60%! Truly impressive, especially having in mind that late December and early January are usually the period when the majority of users download such apps.
When talking about apps making home training routines very efficient, Home Workout is one of the best and most popular fitness apps worldwide. With personalized recommendations and fitness routines for every body type, the app offers exercises which do not require gym equipment.