WhatsAPP India! What are you busy downloading?

First came the big websites, then came their miniatures – apps that open in a snap. These tiny buttons have totally changed the way we live our lives. Be it calling a friend, shopping, booking a holiday, reading news or just relaxing to some music, there’s always an app to do just that.

Such is the mad rush that global app downloads topped a whopping 175 million downloads last year, generating revenue of over $86 billion. That’s a lot of money!

So when the whole world seems to be on a downloading spree, how can India be far behind? Turns out, we are completely consumed by apps, left right and center.

India is now the world’s top market for app downloads, having surpassed both China and the US. This winning hat comes on combined downloads across Android’s Play Store and Apple’s IOS

We are also the world’s fastest growing app market, having seen over 40% growth since last year. But if there’s one place where we lag behind, it’s in revenue generation from apps. Simply said, we love apps as long as they are free.

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Most happening apps

Facebook and Whatsapp continue to be the most popular apps in the country reiterating the power and reach of these social media and communication platforms.

Indian video streaming apps make a big bold entry this year, increasing the number of homegrown apps in the list that is mostly dominated by outsiders. Paytm was the only Indian app that made it to the top ten list last year. Interestingly, Star plus owned Hotstar with over 100 million downloads has already become one of the world’s most used video streaming apps.

 

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Unraveling India’s app universe

Riding on the twin factors of increasing internet and smartphone penetration, India accounted for 33% of the world’s total downloads last year. That made it the second largest market after China.

Social apps are a big hit with Indians spending most of their time on apps like FB, Messenger and Whatsapp. Last year, over 71 billion hours were spent on the top 5 social apps. Whatsapp alone accounted for more than 50% of the overall hours Indians spent on social apps.

Of the almost 80 apps that were installed monthly, Indians actually accessed over 40 of them. They also spent an average 3 hours per day on apps. That’s nearly 45 days in a year

This is more than the time spent by mature markets like US, UK, France, Germany. As a direct result, the time spent on apps far outnumbered the time spent on the mobile browser.

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Flourishing Desi apps

India’s growing hunger and scope for apps is definitely good news for app developers in the country. The last couple of years have seen a huge spurt in the number of local apps, with several getting over 50 million downloads. Some like Paytm, Zomato, Hike Messenger have even gone global.

While genres like News, Entertainment and Utility continue to remain popular, Gaming apps are touted to the next big thing in India. Ludo King and Teen Patti, both homegrown apps are already a big hit with the masses.

Mobile Apps are slowly becoming an indispensable part of our daily routine. Right from email, news and social updates to instant communication and entertainment, they have plugged themselves into every aspect of our lives. So much of what we want is now possible at just a push of a button.

Yet, what we are seeing is just the beginning.

With AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) making inroads into the mobile app world, the future is only going to get more zappy…or should we just say appy?

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