Health and Healthcare Systems

The video apps we're downloading amid the coronavirus pandemic

Medical workers from outside Wuhan check their mobile phones at a riverside park by the Yangtze River in Wuhan of Hubei province, the epicentre of China's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer  CHINA OUT. - Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly

Technology is helping to keep people stay connected and productive through the crisis. Image: REUTERS/Stringer CHINA OUT. - RC2RRF90T1RL

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
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  • With a significant proportion of the world's inhabitants living under lockdown, a number of apps have seen a spike in downloads to help people stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Global downloads of Skype, Zoom, and Houseparty have surged by over 100%.

As a significant part of the world population is currently on lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic, people are turning to technology to work, communicate and stay in touch with their loved ones.

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Unsurprisingly, workplace communication tools such as Slack and Teams have seen a jump in usage as working from home has become the new norm in recent weeks. People are also making use of similar tools in their personal lives, however, leading to a spike in downloads of video chat apps.

Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Downloads of video-apps have soared has the pandemic has taken hold. Image: Statista

According to Priori Data, global downloads of Skype, Houseparty and Zoom each surged by more than 100 percent in March, with the latter proving particularly popular among people meeting up virtually while being confined to their homes. The videoconferencing app was downloaded nearly 27 million times this month, up from just 2.1 million times in January.

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While Zoom is definitely the rising star among video chat apps, Skype remains far ahead in terms of active users. According to Priori Data, the Microsoft-owned service had 59 million daily active users on its iOS and Android apps in March, compared to just 4.3 million for Zoom. It needs to be noted though, that many people also use Skype for other ways of communication, while Zoom has specialized on video conferences, so it may not be a fair comparison to make.

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