Six Month Check In: The 2020 App Space

June 30, 2020
We are officially halfway through 2020, and the mobile app industry has already taken this year by storm.

A recent study reveals that 66% of Americans check their phone 160 times daily, and once they’re on their phones, 90% of that mobile time is spent on a selection of the millions of apps available through Apple and Android app stores. As people continue to work from home across the nation, those daily phone checks (and subsequent screen time) have only increased. Leading mobile market data provider App Annie’s latest report reflects this – noting a 20% year-over-year increase in daily time spent in apps on Android devices in Q1 2020. The report also notes that consumer spending in both iOS and Androids app both grew, setting a new record for in-app spending for a single quarter at $23.4 billion worldwide.

So, who is dominating the space and those numbers? Unsurprisingly, the top five worldwide apps include household names like TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Tinder, YouTube, Netflix, iQIYI and Tencent Video lead the charge with app spend. Apps like Spotify, Snapchat and Pandora all rank high too.

New to the rankings this year? Video-based apps. Previously underutilized and overlooked, video-centric apps like Zoom and Houseparty have steadily climbed the ranks during 2020’s first six months as consumers seek tangible human connection from the safety of their homes during quarantine. The focus on video connection tools isn’t limited to new apps, though. Apps like Facebook and Instagram have spent significant time during 2020 implementing various upgraded video features.

And, that’s where we fit in to 2020’s app space. At its core, GiftCast is based on utilizing video as a way to foster meaningful human connection. We offer a unique solution to celebrating both big and small moments regardless of circumstances, to creating memories that last a lifetime and to improving the gifting experience all around. It all starts with a video on a mobile device that can make lives better.

The numbers continue to paint the picture we are familiar with - there’s a significant opportunity to connect with mobile users right now. There are few advertisers in the market, phones have longer battery life and people are increasingly spending more time in apps and online.

As the app space continues to accelerate this year, we, like many app creators, are focused on seizing this new direction, on evolving to offer users special and useful functions and features and on continuing to leverage features like video to serve mobile users with authentic connections and meaningful memories.
About GiftCast Admin
Joel Deitz is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of GiftCast. He posses’ deep and unflinching beliefs that design makes our world a better place. He also believes that to be happy, people need to feel important. For Joel, creating and improving GiftCast has been a great joy but using it to celebrate loved ones is even greater.
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Graduations Go Virtual: How to Celebrate

June 2, 2020
Graduating from high school, trade school, college or graduate school is undoubtedly one of life’s biggest milestones.

This year though, this momentous achievement might not look exactly how you pictured it during the pre-COVID era. Rather than walking across the stage in a cap and gown and celebrating with pictures and toasts with friends and family, graduation has gone virtual in light of social distancing. This year, graduates are cheering from the safety of their own home when their name is read aloud on Zoom, watching commencement speakers on Instagram Live or YouTube, ordering in drinks via apps like Drizly and hosting virtual graduation brunches and dinners with family via FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangout. Technology is ensuring that we keep the tradition of graduation alive and well this year, regardless of how it looks.

New technology is also helping us continue to recognize and celebrate new graduates’ years of hard work, studying, tests and essays, with creative ways to connect, gift and honor our loved ones’ efforts in the classroom. Whether we are in the same place or not, we’ve been letting graduates in our family and friend circles know how proud we are of them with personalized videos and cash gifts on GiftCast. Recipients can keep these video messages saved on their phone or in the app to look back on for years to come. Plus, we want to give graduates the option to spend their money where they prefer as they move into this next chapter.

Graduations may look different this year, but we’re thankful for technology that lets us virtually celebrate despite the circumstances.

Congrats 2020 graduates! You did it!
About GiftCast Admin
Joel Deitz is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of GiftCast. He posses’ deep and unflinching beliefs that design makes our world a better place. He also believes that to be happy, people need to feel important. For Joel, creating and improving GiftCast has been a great joy but using it to celebrate loved ones is even greater.
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Mother’s Day & Father’s Day: 2020 Gift Giving Trends

May 4, 2020
With both Mother’s and Father’s Day around the corner, gift giving is on our minds – and so are the recent trends in the space.

In recent years, gift giving has been trending towards digital. Recent surveys show that 46% of consumers return one to three gifts over the holidays. By anecdotal accounts, many of these gifts are returned or exchanged to buy something more practical or something the recipient finds of value to them. Digital cash-based gifts, however, cut back on this waste and save time on trips to and from the store, allowing for more time to enjoy the gift of their choice.

Research has also shown upward trends in recipients valuing experiences over physical gifts. Gifted experiences foster a deeper connection between the gift giver and the recipient – especially in this current moment as we all increasingly grow to value the smaller things.

Beyond broader gifting trends, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the ways holidays look this year, especially in terms of heading to the store or even online retailers to purchase a physical gift. Online retailers like Amazon have recently re-allowed nonessential item shipments, but note that shipping times may be delayed, with gifts arriving beyond their intended holiday delivery dates.

As trends move towards digital and experience-driven gifts, particularly in this current climate, GiftCast offers a quick solution accessible on any mobile device. Users choose a cash amount for the recipient to spend on a gift of their choice, accompanied by a personalized, experiential video message that the recipient can download, share and keep forever. Instead of sending flowers to mom or a cheesy mug to dad, GiftCast offers the unique option to cover dinner, the hobby they are picking up during social distancing or a round of golf when the courses re-open. Regardless of what mom or dad opts to spend their gift on, they’ll appreciate a cherished, sentimental video from their child – that they can watch on repeat until you can log face time again.

How are you making Mother’s Day and Father’s Day special this year? Let us know!
About GiftCast Admin
Joel Deitz is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of GiftCast. He posses’ deep and unflinching beliefs that design makes our world a better place. He also believes that to be happy, people need to feel important. For Joel, creating and improving GiftCast has been a great joy but using it to celebrate loved ones is even greater.
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