What Could The Future of App Development Look Like After The COVID-19 Pandemic
- By Jamie Costello
The recent events of COVID-19 have illustrated society’s reliance on the digital world. With many people being advised to stay at home, both people and businesses have relied upon digital technology to help keep connected loved ones, as a use of entertainment and working remotely, plus more.
Whilst we’ve seen many tech companies blossom in the negative storm, companies such as Amazon, Zoom and Netflix, others have suffered, with companies such as Airbnb and Uber barely having a presence in today’s market.
Most of all, amongst this digital chit-chat, the realm of the app-developer appears to have been completely overlooked in the discussion. They’ve been influential in this digital shift that we now find ourselves in between businesses and consumers. There are over 3.5 billions users of mobile device users in the world, making mobile apps more reliable than ever for users - it would be easy to think that app developers would be shielded relatively easily in such a crisis.
However, this couldn’t be more far from the truth. Although we’re seeing an increasing reliance on digital technologies, economies will be hit dramatically from the crisis, which means App Developers will be impacted too.
What’s the bad news?
Unfamiliar economical territory
This is unfamiliar territory for app development, which can bring uncertainty. Ever since it’s mainstream birth, the sector has only seen progress and upturn from the beginning as it continued to grow. However, it’s never seen an economic downturn like this before. Revenue streams are likely to be impacted as users think twice about in-app purchases and mobile app advertising.
Reduction in Ad Spending
Consumers will reduce spending as they look to control and protect their income whilst advertising will be a back burner for many businesses. Reducing advertising during an economy has typically been the trend for businesses. Therefore less revenue will be generated for app developers from in-app advertising as businesses tighten their spending.
Decrease in competition
As companies steer away from promoting their products and businesses, this results in a lack of competition. Therefore, app developers have to consider giving more for their buck in order to continue business for their app. Reduced prices may have to be provided as there become less buyers, resulting in a continuous cycle of lowering rates.
Temporary app usage
Yes, there has been a major increase in app usage as more users depend on their mobile devices and apps to keep them up to date with information, as a use of entertainment and keeping connected with loved ones. But this is only temporary usage, and once we eventually see a form of normality, app developers are likely to see major fall in traffic. Couple this with lower ad spend for years to come, revenues are likely to linger hauntingly for many app developers.
How about the positives?
To every negative, there can always be a positive found. In this case, for app developers it can be the investment aspect where advantage can be taken for when the market eventually recovers. The app market is extremely overcrowded, but during this uncertain time, we very well might see the creation or solidification of powerhouse app developers. Apps that meet the user retention and lifetime value qualities will be adopting cheaper user growths to what it might have been a couple of months ago.
Cheaper growth of your portfolio
During an economic downturn, a savvy mobile app developer will understand the current situation that they’re in. Instead of trying to risk opportunity, they’ll simply draw back on new projects and continue to maintain their current portfolios instead. Investing in new titles will see far less competition, which means if the right hit title is created, in a less crowded market there will be an opportunity for major growth.
Engineering talent availability
With the high demand for development in the mobile world, it’s no surprise that many iOS and Android engineers have been expensive commodities. However, with many businesses likely to make drawbacks and demand becoming less, those expensive commodities may now become more available. The job market is likely to flood with talent that was once unavailable as app developers reconsider working solely and look to join a team instead.
As the financial market fumbles and the global economy goes into a state of uncertainty, just as any other industry the future of app developers could swing one way or the other. They’ll need to be wary of opportunity as well as anxious of the downfall that could occur. It’s likely to be a bumpy road ahead, but it’s important to remember that some of the largest companies we know today grew from very similar situations as this.