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Zoom’s Q2 Downloads Jump past 300M, Smashing TikTok’s Record

The mobile app for videoconferencing platform Zoom was downloaded more than 300 million times worldwide in Q2, edging out social video app TikTok as the most installed app during the period, according to a new report from Sensor Tower. Zoom is only the third app in history to surpass 300 million downloads in a three-month period, after augmented reality game “Pokémon Go” in Q3 2016 and TikTok in each of the first two quarters of 2020.

Zoom set an App Store record with 94 million installs worldwide on iOS devices in Q2, beating TikTok’s record of 67 million downloads in Q1, while TikTok’s downloads from the App Store surged 154% to 71 million in Q2 from a year earlier. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Google Meet, Messenger, WhatsApp, Netflix and Microsoft Teams rounded out the top 10 for the App Store, per Sensor Tower.

TikTok was the most downloaded app from the Google Play store with about 230 million installs, beating apps such as Zoom, Facebook, WhatsApp, Aarogya Setu, Messenger, Instagram, Google Meet, Telegram and Snapchat. Aarogya Setu is a contract-tracing app for the coronavirus pandemic in India.

Zoom’s surge in popularity in Q2 is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led millions of people to use its videoconferencing platform while working from home or staying connected with friends and family.

As a provider of videoconferencing, Zoom makes money from subscription plans rather than advertising, though the company last week introduced videoconferencing hardware as part of a collaboration with equipment maker DTEN, Engadget reported. The hardware business is notoriously fickle, but Zoom’s entry into the market may indicate it sees a long-term future for videoconferencing equipment.

Zoom in June announced that its revenue surged 169% to $328.2 million in Q1 from a year earlier, and the company raised its revenue forecast for the year to between $1.78 billion and $1.8 billion, nearly doubling prior projections between $905 million to $915 million. As the app’s popularity grew during the early days of the pandemic, marketers including Pedigree, Chipotle, Behr and West Elm used the app as part of campaigns.

Sensor Tower’s report shows how the pandemic has boosted downloads for a variety of apps, especially social media and messaging platforms. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is notable for again surpassing 300 million downloads worldwide in a single quarter, even as its downloads slipped 9.5% in Q2 from the prior quarter. However, the social video app is facing more hurdles including the possibility of being banned in the U.S. because of data-security concerns. Some private companies, including Wells Fargo, have recently told employees to remove TikTok from company devices.

India’s recent ban on TikTok has at the same time opened the door for rivals to expand their video sharing features. Facebook last month expanded its test of a TikTok-like feature called “Reels” in its Instagram photo-sharing app to India, after pilot programs in Brazil, France and Germany, Business Insider reported. Amid the growing scrutiny of TikTok in the U.S., Facebook announced plans for a global expansion of Instagram Reels in the next few weeks.

Amid TikTok’s surging popularity, Google’s YouTube last month started testing an app feature that lets mobile users record and share short videos, emulating TikTok’s key features. Meanwhile, Snap is experimenting with a feature in photo-messaging app Snapchat that will let users scroll through public content with a vertical swipe, a motion that TikTok helped popularize, TechCrunch reported. The full effect of these moves by rivals likely will become more apparent during the current quarter.

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