As the creators of Chrome OS, Google is a big proponent of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) especially to expand what the platform can do. Google shared today that desktop PWA installs have seen a 270% growth spurt since the beginning of 2021.

This PWA growth spurt took place from February 1, 2021 to Feb. 1, 2022 with “Google Internal Data” cited. This stat counts installs from Chrome OS and the Chrome browser on desktops (Windows, Mac, Linux). Other Chromium browsers aren’t included, while all websites — not just Google PWAs — are factored. The company previously said that Google Play app usage on Chromebooks grew 190% YoY (March 2020-2021).

Google points to a number of Chrome OS improvements in the past year as helping make PWAs more feature-rich. The biggest highlight is the ability for PWAs to appear in Google Play as part of curated collections and recommendations, while payments and subscriptions are also possible through the store. 

On the desktop web, more and more sites increasingly prompt users to install with a dialog box at the right of the address bar. An app icon provides quick access, while the website now gets its own window.

Meanwhile, services like SoundCloud saw a “40% increase in listening time among users who accessed the platform through its PWA.” Other third-party examples include:

Amped Studio⁠, a music-making app, experienced a 20% growth in registrations and a 100% increase in premium membership sales since the launch of its PWA in the Google Play Store.

Clipchamp⁠, a video creation and editing suite, has seen a sharp growth in PWA installs, increasing at a rate of 97% a month since the launch.

Kapwing⁠, an image, video, and GIF editing platform, saw 36% growth on its PWA. Plus, the PWA’s seven-day retention rate is 1.92X higher than the website’s, and the 28-day retention rate is 2.85X higher.

Piper Make⁠, an education technology app for young learners, saw a 38% increase in its user base after introducing an offline-enabled, streamlined PWA.

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Abner Li

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