App Annie: Business apps exploded in 2020, driving 25% lift in time spent on mobile


  • Worldwide time invested in Android phones increased 25% from 2019 to more than 3.3 trillion hours, according to App Annie’s 2020 End of Year Mobile Report that was shown in Marketing Dive. While all app classifications in the report saw respective lifts in time invested– social and comms (+20%), shopping (+25%), finance (+25%), video games (+35%), and video streaming (+40%)– the general development was mainly driven by a 200% surge in organization app usage.
  • Worldwide costs across Apple’s App Store and Google Play also grew 25% year-over-year to $112 billion, with mobile app and game downloads swelling 10% from in 2015 to 130 billion.
  • As mobile usage skyrocketed this year, the biggest winners were TikTok and remote collaboration tools that became de facto tools of those working from home. On App Annie’s ranking of the most downloaded apps, TikTok leaped 3 spots to top the list, followed by Facebook, WhatsApp, and Zoom Cloud Conferences, which moved 219 spots up the list. Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Google Meet (which made its debut on the ranking), Snapchat, Telegram, and Likee completed the top 10.


The acceleration of mobile stimulated by the coronavirus pandemic has been a top marketing story of 2020, a reality which App Annie explores in its 2020 End of Year Mobile Report. While lifts in time spent throughout app categories were expected, the outsized development in organization app usage shows how work environments and employees moved towards relying more on mobile devices to accomplish tasks, suggesting that marketers have chances in and with apps that are popular amongst remote workers.

Apps like Zoom Cloud Conferences and Google Meet rocketed into the rankings of top downloaded apps as companies went remote and workers aimed to collaborate by means of mobile phones, a shift that might continue as App Annie anticipates organizations will continue to be at least partly remote throughout 2021– even as vaccines start presenting globally.

Along with the dive in company app use, TikTok continued its dominance on smartphones and topped the chart of this year’s most downloaded apps. Since the app blends social network communication with streaming video entertainment, it remains a key gamer in the mobile area, regardless of its murky U.S. future connected up in the courts.

The report keeps that having a “mobile strategy” in 2021 will not be enough for online marketers to meet consumers’ changing needs, but that including data into techniques should be marketers’ main focus for the brand-new year.

“Organizations must have a data-backed mobile method combining trustworthy and accurate mobile market data with their first-party information and an intelligent information science partner,” App Annie’s report notes.

“2020 has explained that mobile apps and video games are at the center of our lives even when we remain at home,” Bertrand Salord, App Annie’s international VP marketing, stated in a statement. “To win on mobile, brands and publishers require more than ever to standard their own mobile performance to market data price quotes.”

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