Christmas period is a time for food, family and festivities but it is also the perfect time to reflect on the year we’ve had. The same is true in the app development world.

So, what apps have thrived in 2020?

This year, of course, you may be able to guess that productivity and teleconference apps have dominated – in a year when we’ve all been working remotely a lot more than usual, we’ve all been searching the app stores for solutions.

Unsurprisingly, then, Zoom was solidly in the top four of app downloads this year – up a staggering 219 places on its 2019 position. But interestingly, the other top five according to App Annie are all social apps; Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are all steady in the top five at second, third and fifth place respectively.

The new number one, knocking the mighty Facebook Messenger to sixth place? TikTok, an app almost built for pandemic scrolling: offering amusing, light content delivered according to interests and in a constant stream, TikTok made 2020 its banner year. This performance saw it increase user spend by 15% compared with 2019.

The lesson of all this? Users download apps that give them something: Zoom was a saviour in 2020, and TikTok filled a specifically social hole in people’s lives. The dominance of social apps is worth noting, too – because it means that every business needs to continue to take serious social marketing moving forwards. 2020 has only locked in the move online.

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