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The Coronavirus’ Effect on the Games, Apps & Social Media Industry, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

The Coronavirus pandemic and its shelter-at-home, work-from-home scenario, provided a very sharp boost to the games, mobile apps and social media sectors.  Many of these effects will be permanent.  It would be reasonable to think of this phenomenon as several years’ worth of digital platform growth compressed into a few short months’ time.  The companies that benefitted most were those that could scale rapidly while offering appropriate new or enhanced services to both businesses and consumers.
The following are of particular importance to the games, apps and social media sectors: 
1)      Online game playing soared during the shelter at-home lockdowns.  While time available for consumers to participate in gaming was reduced as the economy began to move back to normal, some of these habits will endure, and many games that developed new followers will keep them.  Video-based eSports viewing also benefitted, as avid gamers spent more time watching pros play games, via platforms such as the very popular Twitch.
2)      Mobile app usage also soared.  There has been a permanent acceleration of both consumer and business demand for the ability to conduct transactions online, rather than in person.  This covers a very broad range, from Zoom and Microsoft Teams videoconferencing solutions to telemedicine and online banking.  App developers, API-based solutions and digital platforms are long-term beneficiaries.
3)      Likewise, since apps and digital platforms for everything from video calls, to chat, to links to online shopping, to social media gained in usage and popularity, much of that gain will be permanent.  For example, many people were introduced to Zoom teleconferencing for the first time, for personal use, business use or both.  Others adopted the Instacart grocery ordering and home delivery app for the first time.  Apps for more secure online log-in, such as Duo, soared in popularity.  Literally thousands of ways to conduct everyday business, or provide for consumer and professional needs, were migrated to digital platforms.
4)      Consumers who spent more time at home found new ways to utilize social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Tik-Tok.  Many of these firms enjoyed strong advertising sales and growing user engagement.  Product development teams at leading social media platforms rolled out features and thus increased the level of relationship with advertisers or consumers.

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