Lensa AI Is an Old New Photo Editor That's Topping the Charts Right Now
This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - (Not) So Confusing. Check out the full article for more insights.
A new app has climbed to the top of the charts in the US App Store. Yawn, right? Not exactly! This one's a bit different.
Lensa AI is a photo editor that uses AI to generate artistic and very sharable avatars, and also offers the ability to remove backgrounds from images. Put a pin in this feature for now - it'll be important once we talk about Apple Search Ads.
Lensa's downloads, and revenue, another item to pin for now, have both grown drastically over the last few days.
Even though Lensa isn't a new app, its downloads and revenue are currently at the highest they've ever been!
According to our Top Apps Chart in the US, Lensa is the #2 app in the US App Store. And according to our estimates, downloads climbed as high as 3x the last peak on Tuesday as Lensa hit 232K downloads worldwide from the App Store and Google Play.
That's a massive increase from the previous month, where daily downloads averaged 8K.
And while downloads are high so is revenue! On Tuesday, net revenue exploded from around $16K on a standard day to nearly $160K. And that's net, meaning what the company gets to keep after handing Apple and Google their fees.
It's become fairly normal to see apps rise to the top of the charts quickly but those usually don't bring in revenue immediately.
Although the app is mostly known for its avatar generation, Lensa AI seems to be using Apple Search ads to tackle a different use case. According to our ASA Intelligence (coming soon), Lensa AI is targeting a wide variety of keywords that all have to do with erasing backgrounds.
And we're talking a lot of combinations. The kind someone spent time coming up with instead of clicking on Apple's keyword suggestions with a broad-match campaign. If you're doing that please don't.
Targeting a specific feature with many keyword combinations, especially if it's popular but not too expensive, is a great way to run a lean campaign that's ROI-positive.
If your ASA campaign isn't ROI-positive you should spend time optimizing it. But I digress...
Why is revenue so high? The app uses what some praise and others consider a dark pattern - it ends its onboarding with a paywall that starts a free trial, essentially tricking those who aren't paying too much attention into starting a "free" trial.
Clearly, the strategy works.
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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.