The pandemic’s effect on the global app market has not been hard to miss. In the first quarter and first half of this year, consumer spending in mobile apps hit new records at $32 billion and $64.9 billion, respectively.
In Africa, it can be tough to call out exact numbers on consumer spending because the continent gets hardly a mention in global app market reports. Yet, other metrics are worth looking at, and a new report from AppsFlyer in collaboration with Google has some important insights into how the African app market has fared since the pandemic broke out last year.
The report tracked mobile app activities across three of Africa’s largest app markets (Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) between first quarter 2020 and first quarter of 2021.
From the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, the African mobile app industry (which is predominantly Android) increased by 41 per cent in overall installs. This was analyzed from 6,000 apps and 2 billion installs in the three markets. Nigeria registered the highest growth, with a 43 per cent rise; South Africa’s market increased by 37 per cent and Kenya increased 29 per cent.
Consumer spending on apps hit record $64.9B in first half of 2021, but install growth slowed to 1.7 per cent.
On March 22, 2020, Rwanda imposed Africa’s first lockdown. Subsequently, other countries followed; (those in the report) Kenya (March 25), South Africa (March 27), and Nigeria (March 30).
As more people spent time at home from the second quarter of 2020, app installs increased by 20 per cent across the three countries. South Africans were the quickest to take to their phones as the lockdowns hit with installs increasing by 17 per cent from the previous quarter.