Lapse Loses Momentum as Downloads Drop 70%

Ariel Ariel
11/17/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - China's Domination. Check out the full article for more insights.


Over the last few years, multiple apps have tried to take on Instagram by offering a "new" way to social media. Apps like Dispo, BeReal, and Poparazzi came up with novel ways of sharing pictures with friends and all rose to the top of the App Store for a short amount of time and then disappered.

Lapse is the latest app to join the list with its disposable camera-like strategy where you take a picture and can't see it right away but rather when the app decides it's "developed". The app also offers no filters.

And since September, Lapse was mostly in command of the App Store, ranking in the top 5 every day.

Like some of its predecessors, Lapse committed some cardinal sins when it came to growth by being only available on the App Store, being in private beta, and not having any way to monetize.

Roughly two months after it started rising, Lapse is starting to drop. And fast.

Lapse's growth engine, disguised by a beta, required users to invite friends in order to use the app. That's a pretty good way to grow, but it's also pretty extreme and feels like a dark pattern that inevitably turned off users and likely stunted growth.

In early September, Lapse was seeing 8K downloads per day on average, according to our estimates. After leaving "stealth" mode downloads started rising fast and before the month ended, daily downloads peaked at 210K as the app also became the most downloaded app in the US App Store.

Downloads continued to grow, and in October Lapse hit 218K downloads in one day. Just one day!

That, unfortunately, was also the beginning of its slide.

Downloads started dropping after that day and have been dropping almost consistently throughout October and November.

This week, downloads dropped to the lowest since that peak. Our estimates show downloads dropping to 63K, down 70% from October's peak.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who's seen its predecessors come and go. BeReal is the only one that's still seeing some downloads, but growth ended a long time ago and soon the downloads will too.

Getting to the top of the App Store is nice, but at this point, it should be seen as just the beginning. I think some apps forget that.

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Tagged: #social-media

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