Usage of Zoom and co continues to surge despite lockdown easing

Usage of Zoom and co continues to surge despite lockdown easing

Even as parts of the world begin to tentatively reopen in-person spaces, Sensor Tower data shows that usage of the top mobile video conferencing apps remains elevated beyond what was seen during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. An analysis of Store Intelligence data reveals that collective monthly active users of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet in the first half of 2021 were still more than 2.5 times higher than in H1 2020.

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Video Conferencing Usage Continues Climbing

Unsurprisingly, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet saw a surge in usage in 1H20, collectively climbing to nearly 21 times higher than in H1 2019. Despite reports of screen fatigue leading users to seek out different types of entertainment—for example, social audio platforms like Clubhouse—the same cohort of video conferencing apps grew 151 percent Y/Y in 1H21.

When indexed against monthly active users in March 2020, the three apps saw more than 3.5 times more users engage with them in June 2021.

New Mobile Users Flock to Video Conferencing

While the top video conferencing apps have seen increased usage from existing users, apps such as Zoom have continued to see elevated adoption as well. As a cohort, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet have collectively seen consistent adoption rates across the past four quarters, although their adoption is unsurprisingly down from Q2 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.

Although the top video conferencing apps have seen a slight dip in their installs when compared to 2Q20, recent adoption is still up when measured against pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2020. The cohort’s Q1 2021 installs were up 51 percent when compared to 1Q20, and Q2 2021 installs were up 35 percent when compared to the same period.

A Growing Ecosystem

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet have continued to iterate on their platforms over the past 18 months. Microsoft and Google have both rolled out quality of life improvements, such as Together Mode and filters, while Zoom has turned its eye toward building an events marketplace and support for third-party games.

Some of these initiatives are aimed at improving the remote experience, while others are in preparation for the return of workers and students to in-person offices and classrooms. Whatever the future of virtual get-togethers hold, the platforms will likely continue to reach parity in some features while also seeking to differentiate themselves to both retain existing users and siphon away consumers from their rivals.

Many believed that as the world emerged from COVID-19 lockdowns, things would return to the ways they were before the pandemic. That included meeting people face to face again.

Together Mode

And while that may be true for socialisation, it seems that some of the technological changes lockdowns have brought us are here to stay.

New data from SensorTower revealed that major video-conferencing apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams continue to record phenomenal growth in usage.

The top three apps, Zoom, Teams and Google Meet saw usage surge 21x in H1 2020 compared to H1 2019.

And despite video calling fatigue, usage of the top three apps climbed 253% in H1 2021 compared to H1 2020.

However, downloads of these apps are slowing as the market may become more saturated. Adoption levels were still higher in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020 at 223 million versus 147 million, respectively. But the overall trend is pointing toward a slowdown.

It remains to be seen whether Zoom and co can sustain their growth and adoption rates beyond 2022.

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