This Week in Apps #37: Up and To the Right
This Week in Apps is a short, no-fluff, round-up of interesting things that happened in the mobile industry. Here are our top highlights.
U.S. Mobile Download Index: App Store 83.95, Google Play 84.40
📈 We're at full green again this week, fueled by the shopping season and a spike in the price of Bitcoin, which sent thousands to the App Store and Google Play to download a way to get in on the action (more on that below).
1. Apple changed the rules, and (almost) everyone is celebrating
Apple announced a game-changer last week, a new program they call the "App Store Small Business Program" which cuts the App Store's 30% fee in half. That's right, 15% fee for almost everyone!
The new program applies to all developers who make under $1,000,000 in annual net revenue.
Using our revenue estimates, we calculated the number of developers that won't be able to cut their fee a tad under 2%. That's right! More than 98% of developers are going to keep a big chunk of change in their pocket starting 2021.
Who won't be saving, you ask? Games, lots and lots of games.
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2. Getting in on the Bitcoin spike
Downloads of crypto-exchange Coinbase and investing app Robinhood have quadrupled in the last few weeks thanks to the rising price of Bitcoin, which hit a three-year high earlier in the week.
Coinbase saw downloads go from under 10K/day before the rush to more than 45K this Tuesday. Robinhood, which offers Bitcoin trading in addition to stocks, rose from about 20K/day to more than 40K on the same day.
3. An epic house party
Fortnite may not be on the App Store, but it's still making waves. Last week Epic announced its partnership with lockdown-favorite Houseparty, the video chat app that saw record downloads during the pandemic, to offer video calls right in the game.
Downloads ballooned over the weekend to near pandemic highs, from an average of 40K/day to nearly 600K on Saturday and 500K on Sunday. Houseparty's all-time high exceeded a million downloads back in March, based on our estimates, but hasn't been that high since.
4. Talking Instagram
Last week Instagram gave Threads, the messenger app for Instagram, a makeover. Judging by the downloads, users loved it!
Based on our estimates, downloads rose by more than 10x, netting the giant more than a half-million downloads across the App Store and Google Play, as well as the coveted #1 rank in the U.S. for a short period of time.
5. Which bird cannot fly?
If you squint hard enough or have a phablet, you'll see the multiple-choice question in Trivia Star's icon.
Over the last few months, Trivia Star has gained quite a bit of momentum, aka. downloads, which peaked at about 100,000 on Sunday. That was Trivia Star's biggest day of downloads. Ever.
Downloads dropped later in the week, but Trivia Star's overall trend continues to move up and to the right. is trivia the official game of lockdowns?
That's it for this week. If you enjoyed the insights, consider subscribing to the weekly newsletter, and sharing this article.
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Note: All figures included in this report are estimated. Revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.