• Felix Richter - Data Journalist |

Video Chat Apps Rise to Prominence Amid Pandemic

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.

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.

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.

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.