As we kick off 2022, it is important to glance back at the year that has passed to garner some idea of where things may be heading this year. And App Annie has done just that, assessing the global mobile industry and its performance in 2021 – and offering some pointers towards what may be in store.
And what staggering statistics it offers up. 3.8 trillion hours spent using apps; 230 billion apps downloaded; and $170 billion spent through mobile. Crazy huh?
What it does show is what was growing in 2021 and where that may be heading. There are several key trends, but for now think social, video streaming, mcommerce and gaming. These were huge in 2021 and, thanks to changing consumer habits, are set to be larger still in 2022.
By far and away the largest mobile sector in 2021 has been social media. It cuts across all other mobile offerings, playing a role in gaming, video streaming, music streaming, retail, health and wellbeing, banking, finance, payments and more.
According to App Annie’s data, 70% of the time spent on mobile was spent in social media. It is truly becoming the platform(s) through which everything happens.
So what does this mean for the year ahead? Well, there will naturally be more of the same, however for the telemedia sector there is going to be a slow move towards how to run and operate the kind of services the industry specialises in on social platforms.
Already we see many of the CPaaS providers out there starting to look at how to incorporate OTT messaging services into their corporate offerings, but to tap into the real place that consumers are to be found, businesses are going to have to look at how to better engage and interact with them through social media channels.
We have, over the course of 2021, written a lot about the rise of CPaaS and the changing channels through which consumers seek to engage with brands. What lies ahead is how to let them engage with corporate entities through messaging, live chat and video – often through a range of social platforms.
Yes, adding WhatsApp is a start, but what about when someone wants to DM you through twitter, or choses to show you what they want via TikTok?
It sounds absurd, but this is where consumer engagement is heading. Fast.
The same applies to gaming. While a massive industry in its own right, increasingly the kinds of games being played are shifting to be not only role playing games (RPGs) but also a host of lifestyle games and more.
These two are also embracing social media platforms as a means to interact. This could well shift how games are marketed and, more crucially to telemedia companies, how they charge for things.
Does carrier billing’s face fit with this model? It remains to be seen. What is for sure is that alternative payment tools need to be integrated and developed rapidly to meet the demands we are going to see in 2022.
Telemedia VAS stalwart dating has also had a boom time on mobile, growing 95% since 2018, as more people turn to mobile to find love in a time of Covid. Here too, things are different to how they once were. Gone are the days of fly-by-night, premium rate hook up lines; mobile dating is now a mainstream business that make billions of dollars. It too leverages social media, video streaming and other tech to make itself a user experience driven offering.
Couple this with the rise of Avatar creation on mobile – which is having a huge impact on all things from games to messaging and more – and there is much to look forward to in 2022 and many changes afoot.