Since the pandemic began, there has been an enormous boom in app spending, and that trend shows no signs of stopping.

In fact, app sales broke a new record in the first quarter of 2021, with the total clocking in at an impressive $32 billion. That’s up $9 billion from just one year ago.

Apple is the big winner here, capturing a staggering $21 billion of the total, with Android users making up the $11 billion difference and taking a distant second place. Even so, based on statistics by app analytics firm App Annie, both the Apple and Google Play Stores saw their virtual store revenues increase by 40 percent year over year, an impressive feat indeed.

Although the rates of growth in revenues were identical, there were some interesting differences in the kinds of apps that drew the most attention on the two stores. On Google’s Play Store, for example, the most popular apps that people spent money on tended to be social, financial, and productivity tools, while on the Apple Store, the biggest draws were games, financing and networking apps.

Across the app ecosystem, the single fastest growing app in the first quarter of 2021 was Signal, which got a lot of attention and attracted legions of new users after What’s App released a “take it or leave it” privacy policy that allows the company to share user profile data with Facebook.

It seems that a significant chunk of What’s App’s user base rebelled and sought other alternatives with many of them gravitating to Signal. It’s unclear at this point whether the mass migration away from What’s App will cause the company to change their minds and revise their privacy agreement, and if they do, it’s unclear that their departed users would bother to return.

Interesting times indeed, and the app ecosystem is bustling. If you’re considering launching an app for your company with a paid option, now looks like a fantastic time to do so.

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