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COVID-19 Causes 20% Surges in Time Spent on TikTok and Gaming & Social Apps

According to reports by App Annie, while global public and private sector players are urging citizens to social distance amidst the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, users are retreating to their homes and flooding the digital realm for either entertainment or productivity solutions to manage day-to-day work.

Besides media platforms like Netflix and YouTube that are causing a strain on the world’s internet infrastructure , Gaming and Social apps have experienced spikes in daily time spent on app, user engagement, and even app spending. There is notable variation in growth from country to country, depending on the severity of lockdown measures implement by governments.  China and Italy for example, experienced averages of +30% spikes in daily time spent on mobile apps during the strict lockdowns. Meanwhile in countries with relatively moderate social distance protocols such as Germany, France, Italy, UK, and the US, the surge in app usage trended between +5% to +15%.

Diving deeper into categories, there are some expected and unexpected findings. While it comes as no surprise that Games and Entertainment downloads led the way in surging app downloads, there are notable download spikes from other categories driven by unprecedented shifts in consumer habits: Health & Fitness, Education, and Business apps saw record-high adoption rates as users endeavour to continue their lifestyle and work routines.  Notable apps from Health & Fitness were 30 Day Fitness, Calorie Counter by YAZIO, and Keep, whereas notable apps from Business categories were collaboration & conferencing apps like ZOOM, Google’s Hangout Meet, and Microsoft Teams.

Notwithstanding the categorical observations, if we dive even deeper into specific outlier apps, we find social media platforms to be the highest-ranking apps on the app store given our deeply rooted human nature to connect with each other.  TikTok  continues to triumph over its Facebook-backed and Google-backed rival in being the most downloaded app across the board. Meanwhile Tinder  claims the app-store throne as the highest-grossing app spend generated.

Youtube’s Logical Challenge to Tiktok With Shorts

Once regarded as a pioneer, YouTube now attempts to adapt to social trends faster by learning from other fast-growing social media platforms.  YouTube is reportedly developing a new product called “Shorts” to compete directly against TikTok in mobile short-form videos, which leverages user-generated content that can be uploaded and edited directly on users’ mobile apps.

Just as YouTube is the undisputed king of medium-to-long form online videos, Bytedance-owned TikTok has rose to popularity by successfully carving out its own market in the short-form video space, especially among Millennials and Gen Z, which is also YouTube’s core audience.  Shorts is YouTube’s attempt to win back its social media territory, by targeting the same users with a similar product offering that lets everyday users upload everyday content but make them special by embedding audio, music, and special effects from a vast content library.

Its no surprise that YouTube has joined the fray in competing against TikTok, just as many other social media juggernauts have tried replicate the same success of TikTok’s meteoric rise.  Facebook launched Lasso while Vine’s former co-founder launched Byte, both in an attempt to lure users from the world fastest growing social media platform that is TikTok.  The verdict is still out there on whether this growth and trend is sustainable, or whether it is too late for Facebook and YouTube to catch up with Bytedance’s new crown jewel, but either way YouTube is well-positioned for this logical move given its large existing userbase and extensive music licensing agreements.  Stay tuned on Analisa.io as we share more exciting updates on both TikTok and its new challengers as we inch closer towards YouTube Shorts’ launch.

 

 

 
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