Pulse on Current App Trends, July 2020

Naomi Shebah | August 10, 2020
Director of Account Management

Welcome to YouAppi’s App Trends Report, a regular rundown of actionable insights to help better market your app. In this installment, we’re discussing global app engagement in July and the effects of the potential TikTok ban in the U.S. featuring data from Sensor Tower.

Top Grossing Apps Worldwide in July

 

Source: Sensor Tower

 

TikTok was the highest-grossing non-gaming app in the world in July, with more than $102.5 million in user spending. This is 8.6X its revenue compared to July 2019. Approximately 89% of TikTok’s revenue came from China in July, followed by 6% from the United States. TikTok has maintained its position as the highest-grossing app in the first half of 2020

The second highest grossing non-gaming app was YouTube, with more than $76.8 million in gross revenue. This represented 43.8% year-over-year growth from July 2019. About 54% of YouTube’s revenue came from the U.S., followed by 12% from Japan.

Top Downloaded Apps Worldwide in July

Source: Sensor Tower

TikTok was also the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide in July with more than 65.2 million installs. This represented a 21.4% increase from July 2019. The countries with the most installs of the app in July were the United States at 9.7% of total downloads and Indonesia at 8.5%. 

Facebook was the second most installed non-gaming app worldwide with more than 53.6 million installs. The countries with the largest number of Facebook installs were India at 23.1%, followed by Indonesia at 9.1%. 

Potential U.S. TikTok Ban Boosts Alternative Video-Sharing Apps 

Early in July, the United States government hinted it might ban TikTok, threatening its dominance in installs and revenue in the U.S. The U.S. was TikTok’s third largest market in the first half of 2020, generating close to 49 million installs during that time period. The announcement of the potential ban came after a ban of the social media app in India, along with 58 other Chinese apps. The app came under fire in the U.S. over security and data privacy concerns. This included concerns that private, Chinese-owned companies like ByteDance pose a national security threat via the Chinese government’s ability to access their systems under local laws. 

The announcement of a potential ban resulted in engagement spikes of competitor video-sharing apps such as Byte and Dubsmash. 

Source: Sensor Tower

In the two weeks following the White House’s comments, Byte hit 1.3 million downloads, approximately 163 times the amount of downloads two weeks prior. Dubsmash also saw a boost of about 282%, climbing from 118,000 downloads to 451,000.

That said, Dubsmash is larger than Byte in terms of engagement. To date, it has an estimated 41.4 million lifetime downloads across the U.S. App Store and Google Play, while Byte has 2.4 million. 

Video-Sharing App Competition Heats Up in the U.S.

Other rivals are also setting their sights on growth in the face of TikTok’s potential U.S. demise. This includes Triller, a short video app backed by Hollywood mogul and music celebrities. Triller is currently seeking $250 million in new funding to push it’s valuation to over $1 billion. This is a massive leap from its current valuation of $130 million. In the days since the White House’s announcement of a ban, the app gained 35 million users. To date, Triller has 250 million lifetime downloads worldwide.

Instagram Reels, Facebook’s effort to challenge TikTok on short-form creative content, was also launched in early August in 50 countries, including the U.S. Through Instagram’s deals with major record labels, Reels will have access to a comprehensive audio catalog of musical content. This is a particular competitive advantage to TikTok, with one of the chief complaints by TikTok users being the lack of musical options or popular sounds.

At the beginning of August, Microsoft released a statement that it was pursuing the purchase of TikTok. U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would ban the video-sharing app on September 15 if Microsoft, or another party, had not closed a purchase of the platform by then. Microsoft has also reported its plans of an expansion of its initial buying plan. Namely, that it was looking to buy all of TikTok, including the portion it operates in the US and a few other countries.

Roposo Leads Following TikTok Ban in India

Prior to its ban, India represented TikTok’s largest market with 164.5 million downloads in the first half of 2020. Since the ban, the growth of competitor apps has spiked. The apps Roposo, Zili, and Dubsmash generated 21.8 million downloads in India, reaching 13% of TikTok’s overall installs for the first half of 2020. In terms of lifetime downloads, Roposo leads with 71 million, followed by Zili with 51 million and Dubsmash with 30.4 million. 

Source: Sensor Tower

Notably, Zili is developed by Chinese publisher Xiaomi. In the three weeks following the India ban, Zili saw 167% spike in growth, at nearly 8 million installs, up from about 3 million in the prior period. 

 

We’re keeping a close watch on app engagement as user behavior changes during the pandemic. Tune into our next Pulse on Current App Trends Report for more actionable insights to better market your app.