The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic followed by the 21-day lockdown has certainly upended daily life for most people and businesses. But for some apps, the lockdown has come as a boon, with some of them seeing a spike in usage and downloads. We take a look at how some apps have benefits during the lockdown period.
With newspapers no longer being available in many parts of the country due to COVID fears, some news apps have seen a boost in their numbers. Inshorts, which is a popular news app in India, told indianexpress.com said that both its Inshorts app and its Public app saw an increase of over 100 per cent within a week of the lockdown coming into effect.
It says that the Inshorts app is seeing around 50,000 downloads a day, up from 20,000 back in February. Whereas, its Public app is getting over 3,00,000 downloads per day since the lockdown has been implemented. The company also revealed that people are spending 30 minutes on an average on its Public app and around 20 minutes on the Inshorts app. A major chunk of downloads is Tier 2-3 cities.
Hike Sticker Chat
Hike Sticker Chat has also seen an increase in user engagement during this lockdown period. It in a release has stated that users are now spending an additional 33 percent of time on the app daily. This amounts to an average time spent of over 44 minutes per user. The company has said that this is because, “hanging out online has emerged as a way for users to continue connecting with their close ones [while performing social distancing].”
The company’s virtual assistant inside of the app, called ‘Natasha’, has also increase of 22 percent in usage.
One of the biggest names to benefit from the coronavirus pandemic is Zoom. Zoom has gone from 10 million daily meetings and sessions in December 2019 to 200 million daily meetings in March, which is a massive increase in the usage.
Zoom is also the top video conferencing app in India right now on the Google Play Store, which shows just how popular the app and service has become during the lockdown period.
According to Apptopia, during the initial stages of the lockdown Zoom’s monthly active users were up by 186 per cent and its downloads by 300 per cent.
With coronavirus pandemic and work from home becoming a norm in many parts of the world’s Microsoft Teams is another big beneficiary. The company had recently revealed that Teams now has over 44 million active users. Teams is geared towards enterprises and is Microsoft’s competitor to Slack.
Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had revealed in March that both WhatsApp and Messenger have seen a big surge in usage with more and more users relying on these for calls. Zuckerberg revealed that this was beyond the traditional annual peaks for these apps. He said that over 70 per cent more people are now participating in group video calls on Messenger. WhatsApp voice and video calls have more than doubled, according to Zuckerberg.
HouseParty was a relatively unknown app before this coronavirus pandemic. After the lockdown it has seen a surge in popularity as well. According to Apptopia, the app saw a huge rise from 24,795 downloads per day on 15 February to 651,694 downloads on 25 March. However, HouseParty also faced some privacy issues with reports of the app being hacked. The company denied the charges.
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