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India’s favourite apps in lockdown — Zoom, TikTok and Aarogya Setu

Download figures for apps in the past month indicate which kinds of apps have been popular among users in India during the Covid-19 lockdown.

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New Delhi: Zoom, TikTok and Aarogya Setu have been the top three most downloaded apps in India since the lockdown started.

Video conferencing app Zoom became India’s most downloaded app since the lockdown began 25 March. According to download estimates from US-based app analytics firm Sensor Tower, between 25 March to April 10, India downloaded Zoom more times than the popular social media app TikTok.

The home ministry had banned the use of Zoom for official government purposes due to security concerns in a 16 April advisory.

Also read: India is using at least 19 apps to track and trace Covid-19, including Aarogya Setu

What India has been downloading

The download figures look at three time periods: 1 to 11 March when the Covid-19 crisis was not as serious in India; 11 to 25 March when India started seriously implementing social distancing and work from home, and 25 March to 10 April, the latest date for which download figures are available.

Zoom’s download figures increased significantly during the first time period with at least 125,000 downloads in India.

In the second period, these figures went up to 3.6 million downloads.

The latest figure stands at 14.5 million downloads, the most for any app in India.

The other top four most downloaded apps in India as of 10 April are TikTok (14.1 million), government’s Covid-19 tracking app Aarogya Setu (13.4 million), gaming app Ludo King (9.5 million), and an app that provides video statuses for WhatsApp called UVideo (8.6 million).

Source: Sensor Tower

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant tweeted on 15 April that Aarogya Setu had gained 50 million users in 13 days after its launch on 2 April. This indicates that the app may have been downloaded more than 13.4 million times in India. According to Google’s Play Store, the app was dowloaded over 50 million times as of 22 April.

Craig Chapple, a mobile insights strategist for Sensor Tower, said the firm did not have data on the app beyond 10 April, was working on getting the latest download estimates.

Before the lockdown was imposed on 25 March, Zoom did not rank among the top five downloaded apps in India. At the time, TikTok, WhatsApp, file sharing app SHAREit, Facebook, and social media app Helo, owned by ByteDance which also owns TikTok, were the top five.

Also read: During Covid-19 lockdown, everything is digital — even adultery

How other popular apps are doing

Zoom isn’t the only video app that saw a spike in its downloads. Group video chat app Houseparty saw its download numbers go up to 1.5 million by 10 April from only 5,000 by 11 March.

Similarly, Ludo King saw its downloads go up to 9.5 million from the 3.7 million before lockdown.

Singapore-based Bigo Technology’s video-sharing social media app Likee and live-streaming app Bigo Live have also seen their downloads increase.

Likee has reaching out to governments, and has seen Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal use its platform to raise awareness about his government’s efforts to deal with the pandemic. The app said it also partnered with Russia’s Federal Agency for Youth Affairs to raise awareness about social distancing.

The table below shows the download figures for other popular apps in India including dating app Tinder, gaming app PUBG, and Telegram, Helo, ShareChat and WhatsApp.

Source: Sensor Tower

Also read: Incentives and infrastructure — what govt can do to boost data centres in India


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