The #1 App in the US Hasn't Been Updated in 7 Years!
This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Up and Up and Up. Check out the full article for more insights.
The most downloaded app in the US App Store right now is a coloring book that hasn't been updated in 7 years. And it looks like it.
According to our estimates, over the last two weeks, the free coloring book went from about 15 downloads a day to more than 200,000!
Let's take a closer look at this strange burst.
My Coloring Book Free is a 13-year-old app published by an indie dev by the name of Jeff. Its last update was 7 whole years ago and the release notes don't make too much sense.
It's safe to say this app hasn't been loved in a looooong time. One of the benefits of not updating in years is that it can have "free" in its name, which is no longer allowed. You'll see why that's helpful in a moment.
Since the beginning of November, when this trend started, the app saw 924K downloads, more than half from the US and 219K on Saturday alone, according to our App Intelligence.
How does this happen?
If you've been reading for long enough you might have a guess - TikTok!
A viral TikTok had a coloring book app and sent lots of TikTokers to the App Store to find a coloring book app. The category isn't too competitive on the iPhone so it's not too hard to rank in search results, and this app had the advantage of having "Free" in its name.
Overall, the app's name is pretty good for App Store Optimization, so combined, it became the top result and enjoyed much of the traffic.
It wasn't the only one, though!
At least 10 other coloring book apps have also seen downloads rise as a result of this trend. None were as big as this app, but together, the other apps saw downloads more than double with one seeing downloads triple.
Adult Coloring Book - Pigment saw downloads climb from just a few hundreds to more than 15K last Monday. And, it's not that kind of adult coloring book. It's just not as simple as the one made for kids.
Being in the right place at the right time is important as is making sure you're always on top of ASO, but one thing is missing - revenue.
The app doesn't monetize directly but is showing ads, so if Jeff's AdMob's account is still open there will be some revenue there. Not as much as the app could earn with in-app purchases, but something is better than nothing.
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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.