Welcome to Apps this week, the weekly TechCrunch series that is the latest iteration of mobile OS news, mobile apps, and the overall app economy. The app industry continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads in 2020 and $143 billion spent by consumers worldwide. Last year, consumers also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using the app on Android devices alone
And in the United States, app usage has increased before spending time watching live TV. Currently, the average American watches 3.7 hours of live TV per day, but now spends four hours per day on their mobile devices. Apps are not a way to pass the idle time – they are also a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies were valued at $544 billion, 6.5x more than without mobile focus. By 2020, investors have invested billions of dollars in mobile companies $73 billion more than 27% more annually.
Apps have a way to try this week with this fast-paced industry in one place with the latest news from the app world, updates, startup funding, mergers and acquisitions, and tips on new apps and games. The creator platform OnlyFans is coming out of the porn business. The company announced this week that it will begin banning “sexually explicit” content from 1 October 2021 a decision it claims will ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform.
The news has angered many affected creators who have not been informed in advance and who have come to rely solely on fans as their main source of income. However, the word is that OnlyFans was struggling to find outside investors despite its large number of users, due to its adult content. While some VC firms are prohibited from investing in the adult content business, others may be concerned about other issues – such as NSFW content may have limited interest from advertisers and brand partners.
They may also be concerned about the ability to prevent minors from successfully using the app in light of the soon-to-be-expanded regulations for online businesses. Also, porn companies face other problems. They need to constantly ensure that they are not hosting illegal content such as child sexual abuse material, vengeance pornography, or sex trafficking victim content – which has since been sued by other major porn companies.