App Annie has published its annual review of the top performing apps by downloads and revenue, which once again underlines the dominance of TikTok, and the influence that it’s having in broader social media space.
As explained by App Annie:
“[TikTok’s] influence on the 2021 data is obvious. It ranked #2 in the breakout app spend chart (this chart ranks apps that have registered the biggest change in spend over 12 months), and it also propelled CapCut to the top of the breakout downloads chart. Why? Because CapCut is an editing tool for TikTok, which rolled out globally in April 2020.”
As you can see here, both TikTok and CapCut rank high in each list, though Instagram remains strong in active users, with Facebook down at the bottom of the top 10.
But it’s not just TikTok’s own apps that highlight its influence, with TikTok replica apps like India’s MX TakaTak and Moj also gaining traction, as replacements for TikTok which is banned in the region.
That broader impact is why every social app is now trying to add in TikTok-like features and elements, because the broader shift is not just based on TikTok’s own rise, but the habitual trends and behaviors that it’s inspiring, which users are now actively engaging with in other spaces.
Does that mean all apps will eventually look like TikTok? Yeah, it probably does, with Twitter launching a new experiment with its Explore feed, converting it into a TikTok-type display, and Instagram also now testing out a new vertical format for Stories as well.
Pinterest’s Idea Pins are getting more TikTok-like, Snapchat’s Spotlight feed already utilizes a full-screen, swipeable UI. It’s safe to say that usage trends point to everything going TikTok-style, at least until the theoretical metaverse takes over, and we’re all engaging in wholly immersive virtual environments.
In terms of overall app spend, according to App Annie’s data, TikTok has also seen the biggest jump year-over-year.
That bodes well for the app’s expanded eCommerce and monetization ambitions, which will help fuel its creator economy, which will be a key element in growing the app beyond a billion users.
Short-form video can’t utilize in-stream ads, so platforms need to find alternative monetization pathways, and for TikTok, that will largely hinge on its ability to facilitate eCommerce and brand deals for creators.
If it can ensure creators get paid, they’ll keep them posting to the app, and building their audience – but if other platforms have better revenue share deals on offer, you can bet that they’ll migrate away over time.
The data here suggests that TikTok is in a strong position to keep growing, and facilitating business opportunities for more creators.
Of course, none of this is surprising, as pretty much every report has reinforced TikTok’s rising strength, and as noted, every social app is now working to negate TikTok’s expansion if they can. But it’s another reminder of the platform’s influence and position, which may well see it become the biggest social platform in the final stages of the medium as we know it, before we move onto the next phase of digital connection.
You can check out App Annie’s full 2021 mobile apps report here.
LinkedIn Announces the Retirement of its LinkedIn Lite App
LinkedIn has announced that it’s shutting down LinkedIn Lite, its pared-back version of the platform, designed for users in regions with more restricted connectivity and data access provisions.
Originally launched back in 2017 as a way to help “level the playing field for all members when it comes to accessibility”, LinkedIn Lite includes the basic functionality of LinkedIn, and is designed to load faster, while also using less data, handy for regions with more restrictive data plans.
But as LinkedIn continues to evolve, the Lite app gets further behind, with the full app’s more advanced functionalities – like video connection, full profile display features, Creator Mode, etc. – all getting more and more distant from the streamlined tool.
And with global connectivity evolving, LinkedIn now feels confident that it can move on without the scaled-back variation, which could also help boost in-app engagement and usage, and make LinkedIn a more significant presence in key markets.
Which, as you can see here, are growing. Now at 810 million total members, LinkedIn continues to gain momentum in developing regions, especially India (85m members, up from 60m in 2019), South Africa (+2m since 2019), the Philippines (+3m) and Nigeria (+1m)
As with most social apps, India is a key focus, and LinkedIn says that Indian adoption of the full version of the app is now rising at 4x the global average, as mobile adoption continues to soar in the nation.
At the same time, retirement of the Lite app could also give LinkedIn’s team more opportunity to develop and maintain its new ‘InJobs’ app in China, with the full version of LinkedIn removed from China last October due to increasing regulatory pressure and scrutiny.
At 56 million users, maintaining connection with China is key, and maybe that’s another factor in LinkedIn’s decision to step away from its scaled-down version.
Either way, the LinkedIn Lite app will be removed from Android app stores on 27th January 27th, before being deactivated completely March 15th.
LinkedIn says that it will transition Lite app users over to the full LinkedIn experience over the next few weeks.
Twitter Shares New Insights into Rising Discussion Around the NFL Playoffs [Infographic]
Super Bowl LVI is just around the corner, which also means that we’ll soon see the biggest showcase of ad content of the year, highlighting new trends, creative activations and opportunities, which can sometimes re-shape advertising approaches from that moment forward.
And this year looks set to be particularly significant. As more people look towards a post-pandemic future, there’s a big opportunities for clever marketers to tap into this enthusiasm, and the various trends that come with it. That’ll likely see more innovative, integrated ad approaches, which will extend beyond the initial big game activations, and showcase new opportunities.
Twitter’s keen to cash in on that excitement. This week, Twitter’s published a new overview of user trends around the NFL playoffs, highlighting the huge boost in tweet activity heading into Super Bowl weekend.
As Twitter notes:
“In the 2022 Divisional Round alone, we saw 27% more impressions on Tweets about the NFL, 58% more Tweets overall, and 42% more unique authors, compared with one year ago.”
It could be a key platform for boosting your tie-in efforts – and if you are considering the potential of Twitter ads for your campaigns, then these new stats might help.
Twitter Shares New Insights into the Rising K-Pop Discussion in the App [Infographic]
Do you like K-pop?
Increasingly, the chances are that you do, given the massive growth of K-pop fandom around the world, with megabands like BTS and Blackpink building huge audiences, and each becoming cultural forces within themselves.
That fandom is most significantly present on Twitter, which has become a key hub for K-pop enthusiasts. K-pop tweeters are now so prominent that they even have the power to quash controversial hashtag movements, by banding together to flood the streams with K-pop-related tweets instead.
It’s amazing to see, and today, Twitter has shared some new insights into the rising K-pop conversation, which got even bigger, once again, in 2021.
As explained by Twitter:
“With a massive 7.8 billion global Tweets in 2021, #KpopTwitter once again showed its power by breaking its previous record of 6.7 billion Tweets in 2020. Registering a notable 16% increase in Tweet volume globally, #KpopTwitter conversations became more diverse and vibrant in 2021.”
So where, exactly, is K-pop discussion trending, and who are the big bands of note? Check out the below insights from Twitter – which also includes a list of rising K-pop stars if you want to get ahead of the curve.
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