The Coronavirus Impact on the App Industry

google play app store optimization

google play app store optimization

Coronavirus has been spreading more and more each day and affecting thousands of people around the world. Starting from Wuhan, China and causing havoc in the world, it has now become a global threat to humankind and a shared problem of the world. As it is affecting more individuals and families, more people are socially isolating themselves. And they are turning to mobile apps to continue on with their work, school, and necessities to keep them going during their time of quarantine.

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This change of lifestyle is pushing people to turn to some apps more than others. And this has been causing a significant increase and in some cases a decrease in the category rankings with a number of different apps.

We have looked into a couple of apps in 6 different main categoriestravelshoppingfood & drinksocial networkingbusiness and education and tried to find out how they have been affected amid the coronavirus outbreak, starting from New Years, when the virus became known to the public, up until now.

How Travel Apps Got Devastated

One of the main categories affected by the virus is travel, unsurprisingly. As we all expected, tourism has been affected negatively and travel all around the world has been getting decreased and even suspended.

We have looked more in-depth into two apps in the travel category, to see a more detailed insight. With our data, we can analyze the effects on these apps hassle-free.

We have turned to our App Intelligence tool and looked at Category Rankings to see how Uber, one of the biggest travel apps in the market, was affected by the consistent spread of the coronavirus.

Uber’s rank in the travel category was fluctuating between 1st and 2nd between Jan.1st and Mar.17th. And it seems to be preserving its rank despite the hardships the travel category is facing. However, when we look into the ranking graph in the overall section, we can see a clear drop. It ranked 17th in the overall section at the start of the New Year, when the virus was just becoming known to the public. But as the virus spread more over time, we can see that as we’re writing this, on March 17th, Uber ranks 84th in the overall ranking. This situation tells us that while Uber might be an all-time favourite travel app, the overall drop with the recent events regarding the virus shows that people have put it on the back burner.

When we look at Air China’s (one of the biggest Chinese airlines) graphics in China, we can see a clear drop in the ranking. Especially after January 29th, their drop in the ranking has almost doubled.

The Situation in Shopping Category

A big concern lately is food and grocery shopping. Toilet papers being wiped off the shelves and people fighting each other to grab the last one have been going all around the internet. As going out is scary even if your state hasn’t declared a quarantine, people are turning to apps to do their food shopping so they can minimize human contact as much as possible.

One of the most famous apps for this in the US is Walmart Grocery Shopping.

Especially in March, there’s an increase in both the shopping and overall ranking categories for Walmart, While it ranked 27th in the shopping category on March 5th, on March 17th it is at 3rd place.

Although shopping apps, in general, enjoy tremendous growth in the rankings, Amazon in Italy seems to be in a pinch. We see an obvious decrease after Feb. 17th in overall ranking while the app managed to keep its spot in the shopping category.

How Food & Drink Apps Got Affected

A popular food app people normally use a lot, Starbucks, has been affected negatively by the virus, especially in March.

Considering the drop from 25th to 229th in a number of ten days, we can say that now people have different priorities in their everyday lives because of the growing outbreak.

Another app in the shopping category, Instacart, used for grocery delivery and pick-up service seems to be ranking up, making a significant jump from 563rd to 66th in overall and 18th to 2nd in shopping.

Realized an important fact here? The apps that support delivery service in Food & Drink Category has been collecting the returns for their investment while the others are facing challenges to maintain their rankings. Of course, no one would have expected such a turn of events, but any new app in this category should take into consideration implementing a delivery system if possible.

Liked what you read up until here, but got curious about another app’s rankings? Just a quick reminder: You can sign up for free and check out the category ranking history of all the apps in any time window you want.

Social Networking Apps Are On The Top

As people lockdown themselves at their homes, it is very much expected to see a rise in the category rankings of social networking apps. We spotted quite an interesting example to share with you.

Let us take a look at the amazing graph above. Houseparty, which is a social networking app, shows a significant and sudden rise in rankings in Italy. While it was at 1492nd overall it ranks 1st in social networking and overall as of March 13th. This is no wonder as the whole country is under quarantine and in today’s day and age, the fastest and easiest way to connect with each other is through apps like this one. Unsurprising, as Italians are sociable in real or in cyber. 🙂

Sneak Peek at Visibility Analysis of Houseparty & Skype

Houseparty and Skype are 1st and 2nd in Italy’s Social Networking Top Charts as of March 24th. And when we look at their visibility from our new Visibility Report tool (coming soon 🙂 ), we can see how both of their visibility scores have been increasing. We can also see which app has better visibility scores in which country from the map. Houseparty seems to be more visible in Spain as Spanish users prefer it more compared to Skype since March 18th. In both countries, Houseparty has started with a lower visibility score on January 11th, now surpassing Skype’s scores in Spain and coming really close to it in Italy.

Education Apps on the Rise

Workplaces and schools are closing across America and citizens are asked to stay home to self-quarantine. But this doesn’t mean education stops. Schools around the world have been taking precautions with expanding spring break but also doing online classes and assignments, and in March this has been seen more often in the US too.

Google Classroom is now the top app in the education category when we look at Category Rankings from our App Intelligence tool. And it has been climbing up the charts by a lot in the overall category too, making a jump from 314th to 5th in the past 10 days alone, and since the New Year from 783rd to 5th.

The US isn’t the only country to take measures of course. When we look at South Korea for instance, which is another country that has been hit hard by the virus very early on, we see an even sharper rise in the numbers for Google Classroom.

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