Mobile apps benefited from the health crisis in 2020

The TikTok social app was the most downloaded app in 2020, according to the report prepared for the firm App Annie.

Unsurprisingly, the use of mobile applications has grown significantly in 2020, due in particular to the containment measures that many countries have experienced to protect themselves from the Covid-19 epidemic. The annual study published Wednesday, January 13 by the firm App Annie, which is a benchmark in the field, makes it possible to better measure this success.

All platforms combined, there are 218 billion downloads of applications in 2020, an increase of 7% compared to 2019. This is a historic record. Other indicators show an even stronger dynamic. The time spent on said applications has jumped, in one year, by 20% to more than four hours a day. This is more than the average time spent by people in the United States in front of their television sets.

This development is not only due to young populations, more accustomed to digital uses. The older generations (baby boomers and Generation X) are also participating in this increase, being even those who, this year in the United States, have increased their consumption the most in this area (+ 30%).

A very wide range of uses

One application stands out in particular in App Annie’s report: the Chinese social network TikTok. Despite being the most downloaded app of 2020, TikTok is not yet at the stage of dethroning Facebook, but its performance is proving enough to see it settle in the top 5 social apps in most. of the countries studied, and even reach the second step of the podium in the United States and the United Kingdom. It even achieves the feat, in several markets, of capturing the attention of its users for much longer, during each connection, than Facebook does.

Another outstanding teacher: the appetite of users for applications has had an impact on a very wide range of uses. So for leisure applications (games, video streaming, sports and well-being), but also for more practical daily services (financial and educational services) or even for professional use (Zoom, Google Meet).

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Another positive indicator: the direct revenues generated by the applications (purchase or subscription to them, purchases of bonuses within them) have never been higher, reaching a global amount of 143 billion dollars. With $ 100 billion in revenue, the gaming sector remains the one that benefits the most from this windfall.

But the situation of publishers remains very heterogeneous: on the Apple store, 97% of the main market players generate less than a million dollars in revenue, or even less than 100,000 dollars for the vast majority of them. Last positive indicator, also linked to the Covid-19 crisis: mobile advertising revenues have increased by 95% this year. They are expected to remain at a high level in 2021.

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