There has been a massive increase in smartphone usage during the Covid-19 pandemic. The changes brought about in society, in general, has led to this digital surge. According to the data provided by Ofcom, the communication market regulator, the duration of the average mobile call before the restrictions started was around 3.4 minutes, this increased drastically to 5.3 minutes once the lockdown started. As schools and workplaces moved online, the number of active users increased considerably. Mobile devices became core tools for both work and play.
The following are some of the platforms that have seen a huge boom.
1. Online Messaging Platforms
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reports show that there was a great increase in the usage of online messaging platforms throughout the country. This increase benefitted not only the major players like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp but also the smaller players. The role of messaging platforms is going to increase considerably during the “new normal” because of the convenience and flexibility it offers.
2. Video Conferencing apps
According to reports, video conferencing apps saw a record 62 million downloads in March. Zoom was the most downloaded app. Online classes, work from home, online exercises have all driven this demand. New apps such as the Houseparty app are also seeing massive growth. As business teams are becoming more geographically dispersed, the demand is going to increase in days to come. We are going to see a lot of new mobile apps in the market as the future looks quite encouraging.
3. Gig workers and the gig economy
Covid has given a boost to the gig economy. This is likely to increase in scale, in the future, which will lead to more digitization pertaining to the communication, monitoring of the workforce, etc. Mobile apps such as Fiverr and Airbnb are doing well. The market is quite wide for new players to step in.
4. Digital Payments
This is another platform that has become even more popular. These being contactless, banks/ financial institutions, and the government are likely to encourage their usage. Both working from home and the gig economy have also helped in boosting these platforms. Several governments during the lockdown had provided relief via payment apps for those in need.
Online education is another domain which is showing a heavy surge. Schools and Colleges have gone online once the lockdown started. They are using platforms like Zoom and Google Meet to conduct their classes.
Reports suggest that several educational institutions are shifting entirely to online mode for the next academic year. There will definitely be a lot more mobile usage and in turn an increase in demand for various apps.
6. Information Technology (IT)
Internet usage has gone up dramatically which means that information technology has also received a big boost. Several European countries have gone into lockdown again in order to avoid a second surge. The conditions that led to the increased surge is not going to change in the foreseeable future. Even post-Covid, mobile usage is going to see an increase in the various changes that have occurred permanently.
Organizations are going to invest considerably in technology as the workers are getting used to working from home, more and more firms will start shifting. This is going to be the norm rather than the exception.
Social distancing and isolation have led to a surge in apps used for entertainment. Tiktok and other related mobile apps are seeing a huge increase in popularity.
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