By Adedapo Adesanya The number of apps installed across sub-Saharan Africa increased by 55 per cent in 2020 compared with 2019, a report by AppsFlyer, a global attribution leader, has disclosed. The organisation said in its report that over 30,000 different apps recorded more than 48 billion installations in the period under review. In the report, AppsFlyer\u2019s mobile marketing analytics noted that COVID-19 forced more people to be on their mobile devices this year, especially because of lockdown and phone users found solace in apps that enabled them to shop, play games, keep fit, stream or indulge in social networking. In sub-Saharan Africa, key app trends throughout 2020 showed that there was a 93 per cent growth in in-app purchases between April and May 2020 in South Africa, driven by strict COVID-19 lockdown measures and better access to online stores. This is compared to a 43 per cent increase between September and November 2019. Nigeria saw a 57 per cent increase in organic app installs (44 per cent in non-organic app installs) in 2020 compared to 2019. The average number of purchases per user in South Africa in general retail apps increased by around 20 per cent between March and April. An analysis of 27 billion app installs across 495 media networks and 14,000 apps revealed that Google was the best platform for driving performance for app marketers in Africa, while Facebook was the best platform for remarketing across Africa and the Middle East. It was further shown that Google dominated on Android due to its leap in developing countries where the operating system dominates, while Facebook controls much of iOS. Globally, summary trends from 2020 showed that mobile app marketers spent $74.6 billion globally in 2020 to drive users to install mobile apps, indicating a 30 per cent increase compared to 2019. It was revealed that the number of app downloads increased by 33 per cent in 2020, compared to 25 per cent in 2019. An analysis of 45 apps (mainly eCommerce, Finance, Media & Entertainment, and Food & Drink) found that the number of app installs with a preceding visit to the brand\u2019s website has almost doubled this year. Speaking on the app trends for the year, the MD Latam & Africa, AppsFlyer, Mr Daniel Junowicz, commented: \u201cAfrica\u2019s mobile-first economy has been one of the key markets that has shifted quickly to digital in recent years. Brands here understand more than any other region that mobile needs to be at the forefront of their business activity. "Looking ahead to 2021, the signs look positive for SMEs looking to acquire more customers through their mobile devices. \u201c2020 was a challenging year globally for all businesses but with more users seeking to conduct numerous activities on their mobile devices, marketers need to meet consumers where they are to drive sales and mimic the in-person experience as some physical activities increasingly become digital experiences."