Media reported that home-office policies, social distances and government blackouts have increased the demand for video conferencing applications, both for commercial purposes and for individual users. According to a new report released Monday by App Annie, business conference apps experienced record growth in the new corona outbreak in March and are known to have downloaded more than 62 million times in the week of March 14-21.
At the same time, downloads of the social networking video app Houseparty have grown dramatically during the European blockade and family isolation.
While this growth is expected, App Annie’s report provides a real background on how many new customers these apps have received during this time. In early March, for example, commercial app downloads on iOS and Google Play increased 45 percent from the previous week to 62 million. It was also the fastest-growing category of all app stores in the week, the report said, up 90 percent from the average weekly commercial app download in 2019.
This category is largely due to increased demand for apps such as Google’s Hangouts Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom Cloud Meetings.
Zoom topped the u.S., UK and other European app charts in February and March this year, and the momentum has continued.
In the record week, Zoom downloaded 14 times the average weekly download in the fourth quarter of 2019. At the same time, its downloads in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy were 20 times, 22 times, 17 times, 27 times and 55 times the average weekly downloads in the fourth quarter, respectively.
Separately, a report from App Store intelligence firm Sensor Tower showed that Zoom’s downloads in the U.S. rose in mid-March, but it noted that the name of Zoom’s app had not even appeared in the top 100 of the U.S. App Store search list until March 9. This means that many new users receive app installation pages directly — such as through work mail, calendar invitations, or links shared by internal site points.
At the same time, Google’s Hangouts Meet has been strong in the UK, US, Spain and italy, with 24, 30, 64 times and 140 times the average weekly downloads in the fourth quarter, respectively.
Microsoft Teams saw significant growth in Spain, France and Italy — though less robust, but 15, 16 and 30 times more than weekly downloads in the fourth quarter.
In terms of consumer applications, Houseparty, the popular social video conferencing app in Gen Z, has experienced rapid growth in downloads in Europe and elsewhere. The app benefits from the web effect — that is, it’s becoming more useful as more friends and family join Houseparty. It is then rolled out and used more frequently. In Italy, Houseparty’s downloads soared to 423 times the average weekly download in the fourth quarter of 2019 in the week ended March 21.
In Spain, Houseparty downloaded 2,360 times in the week ended March 21. It is also worth noting that Spain used to be a market where Houseparty did not have any large-scale penetration. Now, thanks to the outbreak of the new crown, it has built a solid foundation in this market.
Unlike the Business Meetingapp, Houseparty aims to make video chat a more personal and social experience. When it launches the app, it shows users who can chat freely and who else is online. In addition, it has parties to attend and in-app games to play, which suggests the app is not suitable for virtual office meetings.
Of course, business applications aren’t the only ones that thrive at this time.
Education apps including Google Class and ABCmouse, as well as grocery delivery apps such as Instacart, also saw a surge in March.