Why is the popularity of mobile applications growing in Russia?
Russians have spent more than $1 billion on mobile apps in a year. Russia became the sixth country in the world in terms of downloads. The top 3 most downloaded applications include Whatsapp, Sberbank Online and Vkontakte. The rate of growth of Russians’ expenses is twice ahead of the world: users all over the world spent $120 billion for the year. It is 20% more than in 2018. Mikhail Kovshov, the founder of CITYLIFE, spoke about the main trends in the mobile application market.
Mikhail, what trend in the mobile applications market in Russia would you call the key: the rise in app spending, the popularity of food order services or TikTok, maybe something else?
Digital, IT-technologies are developing, firstly, in the light of struggle against distrust and, secondly, in the direction of uniting the population into groups. There is a certain trend in the country, which consists in strong distrust among citizens due to late payments, failure to deliver the goods, etc. Innovations and developments will be aimed at ensuring that people start to trust each other and can be sure that if they use any services or buy any goods online, they will get what they ordered.
The second aspect is the cooperation of people in networks/applications, both globally and by interests, specialization. In this regard, social network developers have managed for several consecutive years to maintain a leading position in the number of downloads.
A key trend is the appearance of diverse, including highly segmented applications. The growth of application expenses stems from the fact that more and more people are involved in the world of mobile applications. Each person can find an app for every taste and show oneself there. You are fond of video shooting u2014 TikTok, photography u2014 Instagram, etc. However, the main need is to communicate and communicate quickly. This is confirmed by the number of users of the Whatsapp app.
In your opinion, can there be a new application on the market in 2020 which will occupy a significant market share and be fixed at the top of ratings? Who can launch such an application?
It is unlikely that such an application will appear in 2020. At the moment there are not enough prerequisites for it. People are not yet saturated with an arsenal of existing best applications. The main market players, in turn, feel comfortable in this situation and aren’t ready to bring revolutionary novelties to the market. Efforts are likely to be directed at upgrading the existing ones. TikTok will continue to gain popularity on the Russian market. It can be linked to the growing popularity of the video format.
Certainly, new niche applications such as food or vegetarian food delivery, breakfast delivery, cashback services, social networking services for dating neighbors will develop and appear. But such applications fill a certain niche and are unlikely to be able to overtake applications designed specifically for communication in the near future. That is why Whatsapp, Vkontakte, Telegram will be among the leaders for several more years, rising or falling by a couple of positions in the overall rating.
However, in the next 3 years, a new application, which may take a significant market share and gain a foothold in the top rankings, will appear. This novelty will likely come from Asia, in particular, China, and will be based on the use of artificial intelligence technology. At least at present, China is actively developing IT technologies. And it is quite predictable that Chinese developers will try themselves in the field of mobile applications development.