WhatsApp migration, Telegram on top, a new private search engine, and other news
In January, the mobile industry set off on the road to privacy, social network alternatives, and freedom of information. Private messengers and search engines seem to have become a long-term trend. We’ve collected the most important news for you, including all the trends, app store news, and industry events. Just like always, we’ll make it short and easy.
Alternatives to social networks and messengers
In the United States, Telegram even came second in terms of installs and got right into the middle of a scandal. The Coalition for a Safer Web filed a lawsuit against Apple demanding to remove Telegram from the store. Allegedly, due to some extremist statements posted during the storming of the Capitol. Search engines are getting involved in the privacy boom too. Being a privacy-focused alternative to Google, DuckDuckGo has become the No. 2 search engine in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
New ad formats and social media tools
Snapchat launched a new ad format: 6 second long ads at the beginning of a video that are impossible to skip. Spotify added ads to podcasts, only in the UK so far. Instagram announced new tools for Reels: users can now add music tracks and edit videos in a new way. In LinkedIn you now can add links to stories. The option is available for pages and users with at least 5000 contacts. LinkedIn launched the stories back in October 2020.
TikTok announced a new three-month initiative, TikTok for Black Creatives. Its essence lies in supporting black creators and music performers. YouTube introduced a new feature with access to a special page that has only videos with a certain hashtag.
App store news: business support, push notifications, and the «New» inscription
Google Play can be the next newsmaker of the month (four pieces of news!) First of all, the store now shows personal collections with apps in push notifications. Secondly, there is an inscription «New» next to the icons of new apps. This can affect installs. Third, Google Play has started to show a rise or fall in app ranking. It’s not clear yet if this could seriously affect organic installs. And finally, the overall rating is no longer displayed on Google Play. Now it depends on the language. Say, 100 people who have an English interface (like yours) rated the app, and you will see those 100 ratings only.
The big news for Apple is the launch of the App Store Small Business Program. It offers a reduced fee of 15% for paid apps and in-app purchases. The goal is to stop apps from leaving App Store.
Trends and forecasts for 2021
The early year is the right time to forecast and discuss some trends. In 2020, users spent 30% more on apps than they used to. We look forward to further growth in the new year. The time spent in apps increased by 20% on average. 2020 has been particularly successful for streaming platforms, delivery services, instant messaging apps, video calling apps, social media, and, of course, games. People spent most of the time playing games with complex mechanics and Roblox was the most popular game. Thanks to the lockdowns, game installs significantly increased. Google Play’s download rate of games was 40% year-on-year compared to Apple’s 10%. This year, the growth may be expected to be slower. Actually, a lot depends on what restrictions we’ll have to face.
As for Europe, users from Russia spent the most time on streaming platforms. People spend 6 times more time on YouTube than on other services. In 2021, App Annie predicts that users in the US, South Korea and the UK will install 85%, 80% and 60% more streaming apps than before the pandemic. TikTok is a serious competition to video services. Their user base overlaps with people more often choosing TikTok. At the moment, TikTok is the most popular social network worldwide. Time spent in the app has grown by 70% in the US and 80% in the UK. It’s projected to grow to 1.2 billion active users in 2021.
Another trend we at Checkaso can see is the growing interest in mobile analytics, and this is natural. More than 400,000 new apps have appeared on App Store in a year alone, making it harder for developers to stand out. It’s obvious that businesses need some insights to promote. The niche fields are becoming more and more massive. We’ll be following the industry developments with great interest. Stay tuned! 😉