India is top market globally for social app downloads in H1 2021: App Annie

The report said that India is the top market by a factor of 5x, surpassing the US in 2018. It is followed by US, Indonesia, Brazil, and China in the pecking order for most downloads by market

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 11, 2021 8:26 AM
App Annie

India is the top market globally for social app downloads among social, social networking and communication categories across iOS and Google Play in H1 2021, according to an App Annie report. Asia is the largest region for downloads of social apps in H1 2021 at 60% market share.

The report said that India is the top market by a factor of 5x, surpassing the US in 2018. It is followed by US, Indonesia, Brazil, and China in the pecking order for most downloads by market.

In terms of top markets by social apps' consumer spend, India is at the 17th position in a list of 20 countries among social, social networking and communication categories across iOS and Google Play. The spend is inclusive of any percent taken by the app stores.

US, Japan, and China account for 60% of spend on social apps in H1 2021. US emerged as the #1 market for consumer spend in social apps in H1 2021 seeing 1.7x spend of next largest market. It represented 30% of the total market, fuelled by spend in support of content creators and live streamers.

China followed by India are the top two markets by hours spent in social apps. About 60% of global time spent in social apps is from Asia-Pacific. Time spent in social apps in India has boomed over the past 3.5 years, shrinking the gap between India and China from 115% in 2018 to 7% in H1 2021. Pakistan surpassed Mexico in 2020 to become the sixth-largest market for time spent in social media apps on Android.

While Facebook and WhatsApp are still among the most downloaded apps globally in H1 2021, video-first players — particularly those with short-form video content and live-streaming have risen dramatically up the rankings, with TikTok the new reigning #1 by downloads and Snapchat and MX TakaTak in the top 10.

Consumers are shifting to a model of paying for content creators instead of professionally produced content, illustrating a shift towards authentic experiences. YouTube and TikTok outrank the leading video streaming app, Disney+, showing that consumers are opening their wallets to the creator economy at a level we've never seen before — a positive sign for the industry. Further, TikTok, Twitch, and Bigo Live all rank among the top 10 apps by consumer spend, showcasing the power of the gifting mechanism.

While YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp dominate the time spent charts, TikTok has settled comfortably at #6 in H1 2021, from outside the top 10 in 2019. YouTube remains the leader in the streaming, social and photo and video space due to both depth and breadth of engagement, but the average time spent per user in TikTok has surpassed YouTube in key markets like the US and UK and could shake up the rankings in years to come. Short-video, authentic content and live-streaming are pillars to cultivating deep engagement, with live-streaming in particular driving growth in time spent.

According to the report, one of the secondary effects of the live-streaming boom has been to create a second-generation social economy. If the first was based primarily on one-off items like sticker packs, this one is all about “gifting” content creators during live streams. And this is driving growth in app store consumer spend in social apps.

It is estimated that consumers will spend $6.78 billion via social apps this year — rising to $17.2 billion annually by 2025, an impressive 5-Year CAGR of 29% — bringing the lifetime total spent through social apps to $78 billion. And content creators are at the crux of this growth, as viewers purchase in-app gifts to support their favourite streamers. Two regions dominate this economy; US and Japanese consumers spent more than $1.5 billion in social apps in H1 2021.

Consumers downloaded 4.7 billion social media apps in H1 2021 alone, taking the lifetime total to 74 billion. Total hours spent provides more evidence of the magnetic pull of social media. Social apps commanded 740 billion hours of consumer time in Q2 2021, which is equal to 44% of all time spent on mobile. Total time spent in the top 5 Social apps with an emphasis on live-streaming are set to surpass half a trillion hours on Android phones alone, outside of China in 2021, a 3-Year CAGR of 25%. Live-streaming is fuelling the current boom in social apps' engagement.

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