The Covid-19 pandemic has been going on for approximately one year, including in Indonesia. Since the outbreak began, people around the world have restricted their activities outside and many work or study from home online.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) sees that technology plays an important role in facilitating these activities. As a result, a number of productivity, learning, entertainment and social media applications have become increasingly popular during the pandemic.
Here are some of them, as summarized by KompasTekno from various sources, Thursday (4/3/2021).
According to consumer and market data research firm Statista, during the pandemic one of the biggest beneficiaries was video conferencing service providers, particularly Zoom, whose popularity has skyrocketed.
Statista noted that Zoom’s revenue throughout 2020 skyrocketed to reach 2.65 billion US dollars (around Rp. 37.7 trillion). This number is up from the previous year which only reached US $ 623 million (approximately Rp.8.88 trillion).
The net profit collected by Zoom also increased dramatically, from US $ 22 million (around Rp.313.6 billion) to US $ 671 million (approximately Rp.9.5 trillion) in 2020.
When viewed throughout 2020, Zoom has been downloaded 477 million times, as compiled from the site of application research firm Apptopia. This number makes Zoom the fifth most downloaded application in the world by Apptopia.
In addition, Zoom also set a record for the number of participants in daily meetings. “In March 2020, we will reach more than 200 million participants in daily meetings, both free and paid,” wrote Eric Yuan, Founder of Zoom via Zoom’s official website last year.
In April 2020, the number of participants in daily meetings will be more than 300 million.
- Google Meet
At the start of the pandemic, Google Meet was reportedly flooded with downloads. As research firm AppBrain reports, as of early March 2020, Google Meet has been downloaded about five million times.
This number then increased to 10 million downloads within the following 20 days. Then the number of downloads reached 50 million times in May 2020.
The increase in the number of downloads was driven by users who flocked to download Meet after the teleconferencing platform was made free. Previously, users who wanted to create virtual meeting rooms on Meet had to pay for a subscription to the G Suite service.
Another application research firm, Apptopia, noted that throughout 2020, the number of downloads of Google’s video conferencing application reached 254 million times.
With the total number of downloads, Google Meet ranks ninth as the most downloaded application in 2020 by Apptopia.
- Google Classroom
In mid-April, 191 countries announced they would close schools and universities to reduce the number of Covid-19 transmission.
As a result, there are approximately 1.57 billion students from all over the world who have to carry out the learning process from home. That way, students inevitably undergo distance learning (PJJ).
One application that is widely used to support PJJ is the Google Classroom application. Google Classroom is an application provided by Google to support PJJ.
With a variety of existing features, Google Classroom users can receive and send assignments, view learning materials, ask the teacher, or view other information from the teacher.
Some time ago, Google even announced that it would present various new features for Google Classroom which will be rolled out at the end of 2021. One of them is offline mode.
With offline mode, it is possible for students to start assignments without the need to be connected to the internet, for example, such as viewing assigned assignments, opening Drive attachments, to writing assignments in Google Docs.
Throughout 2020, Apptopia reported that the number of Google application downloads had reached 254 million times. In fact, Google Classroom in 2018 was only used by 25 million users. Then in January 2019 the number increased slightly to reach 40 million users.
The popularity of Google Classroom is increasing as the PJJ trend develops. Tarkhir Google in its official blog claims that its application has been used by more than 150 million students and teachers worldwide.
The pandemic has also finally made people prefer looking for entertainment online. One of them is by watching content on video on-demand applications.
One of the film streaming applications that has made a fortune during this pandemic is Netflix.
In the final quarter of 2020, Netflix reported that the application was used by 203.66 million paying subscribers.
This number is up by 36.57 million subscribers, when compared to the same period in 2019, where Netflix recorded 167.09 million paid subscribers, according to Business of Apps.
Throughout 2020, Netflix also managed to generate revenue of up to US $ 24.99 billion (around Rp.356.4 trillion, up from US $ 20.15 billion (approx Rp.287.3 trillion) in 2019.
Throughout 2020, there were some of the most watched Netflix original series titles, such as Money Heist season 4 with 65 million views. Then there is Tiger King with 64 million views, The Queen’s Gambit with a total of 62 million views.
Other popular Netflix series titles include Too Hot to Handle, Ratched, The Umbrella Academy season 2, Never Have I ever, Floor is Lava, and so on.
- Disney Plus
Apart from Netflix, Disney’s on-demand video platform, Disney Plus, has also been raking in subscribers during the pandemic. Apptopia said Disney Plus was the fourth best-selling application throughout 2020 with total downloads reaching 314 million times. Based on data from Variety since its inception, Disney Plus has managed to keep the paid subscriber chart moving upwards.
In December 2020, Disney Plus managed to attract more than 86.8 million paying customers. The graph also shows that in January 2021, Disney Plus paid subscribers rose to 94.9 million.
Disney Plus originally hoped to reach 90 million subscribers within four years after the on-demand platform was released. In fact, this target has been met in just 14 months.
The rapid increase in the number of Disney Plus subscribers is likely driven by the release of several popular film and TV series titles, including the Soul film by Pixar, The Mandalorian series, and the WandaVision series by Marvel Studios.
In addition to the Pixar and Marvel Studios production houses, customers can also enjoy a range of movie titles and series made by various well-known studios under the Walt Disney umbrella, including Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, to 20th Century Fox.
Overall, Disney’s revenue from the streaming on demand business (including Hulu and ESPN Plus services) has increased by 73 percent from year to year with revenues of US $ 3.5 billion (around Rp.48.9 trillion).
However, the average monthly income of paid Disney Plus subscribers is reported to have fallen from US $ 5.56 (Rp.77,776) to US $ 4.03 (Rp.56,373).
One of the factors is the launch of the Disney Plus Hotstar service for India and Indonesia in 2020. This service is known to charge significantly less than Disney Plus services in other regions.
To get around this, Disney plans to increase the subscription price in the US by one US dollar.
TikTok social media was also one of the most popular apps during 2020. TikTok is a short video-based social media application owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance.
On TikTok, users can create, edit and share short video clips combined with filters and accompanied by background music.
During the pandemic, the TikTok platform seemed to be entertainment in itself for the world community. As reported by Statista, as of February 2021, TikTok daily active users globally are estimated to reach 35.28 million users, both iOS and Android users.
In 2019, TikTok was recorded as having downloaded 738 million times, making it one of the most popular apps on Google Play and the App Store worldwide. In 2020, TikTok is still maintaining its position. Based on Apptopia data, TikTok is the most downloaded application in 2020.
The total reaches 850 million downloads. In addition, TikTok is also in first place in the Apptopia version of the highest grossing app category, beating Tinder, YouTube, Disney Plus, and so on.
In the period from April to December 2020, TikTok was recorded to have collected revenue of 965.5 million US dollars (around IDR 13.79 trillion) from the iOS and Google Play stores, as compiled from Business of Apps.