Out of Gas - Was Discord's Acquisition All Snake Oil?

Ariel Ariel
Jul. 21

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Out of Gas. Check out the full article for more insights.

Last year, Gas, an anonymous messaging app for teens, rose to the top of the charts very quickly.

Before that momentum disappeared, Gas managed to sell itself to Discord. A partnership I didn't expect at all. That momentum, however, ran out very quickly. Just about a month!

Downloads of Gas peaked in October, which was the month for Gas. Our estimates show downloads crossed 3.2M in October. At that time, Gas was only available on the App Store and only in some states.

Downloads dropped to 2.8M in November and then to just 415K in December. In July, downloads dropped to just 14K.


Discord's acquisition was less for the tech and more for the team, which consisted of 4 founders. So naturally, I'd expect this abominable decline in downloads of Gas to translate into amazing growth for Discord.


The easy answer is no. That's not exactly what's happening.

Looking at Discord's downloads, I can see why it was interested in hiring growth hackers.

Downloads of Discord's mobile app dropped 27% between January of 2022 and June of this year. According to our estimates, Discord saw 10M downloads in January of 202 and 7.3M downloads in June of this year. And the trend between those months was almost all down.

With lockdowns a thing of the past many messaging platforms are no longer seeing the growth they did in 2020 and 2021, so this isn't that big of a surprise, but that also means acquiring Gas didn't make a dent.

I wonder how Discord sees this acquisition because I didn't understand it then, and I don't understand it now.

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Tagged: #social-media

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