COVID-19 and the application industry

COVID-19 and the application industry

COVID-19 has changed our daily behaviors greatly. We are not behaving like we were two months ago. We try to avoid going out, and when we do, we try not to commute and stay as far away as possible from other people. This behavioral change has also triggered some side effects. We are much more into the app world now. Suddenly we stopped caring about how many hours our children are spending on the mobile phones. We’ve been cooking, fixing things, doing sports, doing yoga and, of course, we began to spend much more time streaming video content and gaming.

According to Adjust’s latest reports, gaming has seen a significant uptick in installs. In the last week of March, the vertical saw more than double (132 percent increase) the amount of installs compared to last year, as populations across the globe have been spending more time stranded at home. In total, gaming apps saw a 47 percent increase in sessions and 75 percent increase in installs in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The anticipated slowdown in gaming for 2020 has faded for now, as idle time has spurned more users to look toward gaming and the sense of community in shared playing that this vertical often engenders.

Surprisingly e-commerce took a downturn. Installs have been trending below the established baseline for 2020, down 12 percent week-on-week. Probably people are trying to save money, or they don’t want to take the risk getting infected over a nice pair of shoes.

Entertainment and business apps have both seen a tremendous surge. The stark uptick in installs for entertainment apps tells the clearest story of where the app economy is headed in the age of the coronavirus: Toward the comforts of streaming. Installs have increased rapidly since people began staying home, trending 55 percent above where they were last year. Business apps have also seen a huge rise in sessions (up 105 percent from the first quarter of 2019) and installs (up 70 percent). Revenue events are also up 75 percent, as users opt for premium versions to help ease the transition to working from home.

No one knows until when the trend will go on like this. Is this permanent? Or will they go back to normal once we stop using apps as often as we did in the COVID-19 era?

I believe that even though the current crisis has acted as a warning call to humanity, we will resume our old behaviors once we think that it is safe to do so.

Twitter and other social media outlets make you think that the world is thinking just like you do, by showing the content that you are more inclined to like or respond.

I used to think that the world has awakened to a new era and we will use technology more responsibly from this point on. We would use business apps instead of commuting everywhere. We should use health trackers more and cook for ourselves more.

But Elon Musk’s tweet suggesting that everything should go back to as it were revised my perspective. If he could tweet something like that, then it is really unrealistic to expect much change in the coming months.

Ersu Ablak, Turkey,