Tracking Border Crossings into Canada with Downloads

Ariel Ariel

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #122 - Mergers Or Acquisitions?. Check out the full article for more insights.

I found an interesting trend where downloads of an app can be used as a proxy to what's going on IRL -- Traveling to Canada.

See, Canada requires that tourists download the ArriveCAN app to record travel information, including documents and covid info.

For many months now, the app has ranked very high in the US, beating popular names like Twitch and Tinder. Yes, that Tinder.

Just how many downloads are we talking about here? So far this year, ArriveCAN saw nearly 3,000,000 new downloads in the US, according to our estimates. But the trend is the more interesting bit.

In January of this year, the app was averaging 2,000 downloads per day, according to our estimates. By March, that average doubled to 4,000. The average grew to 20,000 in April, and in July, single-day downloads peaked at 51,000.

25x growth in just a few months. Nice! More travel. Also nice! Also also, we now have a rough estimate of new travelers to Canada. BY day. Using downloads. Nice(r)!

This is a pretty extreme example of using downloads to proxy real-world things, but it's a pretty decent one in many cases. Consider that when you do your competitive analysis.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #travel

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