This Week in Apps #111 - They're All Talking About It!
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. Revenue Index (30 Day)
1. Trump Leads the App Store
Remember Truth Social, the Twitter clone launched by Donald Trump earlier this year?
The app many thought could have what it takes to compete with Twitter had a good launch thanks to a clever App Store trick, but downloads dropped very low very quickly to the point it was mostly forgotten.
So forgotten, Donald Trump hasn't even used it.
Well, both of those changed this week.
Trump's Truth Social, which looks like Twitter but calls tweets "truths", rose to the top of the US App Store, the only place where you can find the app right now, and has stayed there the entire week.
At the same time, Trump announced he'd (finally) start using the platform.
Estimating that sort of demand is tricky, but our App Intelligence shows downloads have grown more than 3,500% this week. Daily downloads went from single-digit thousands for much of this year to more than 146,000 on Tuesday as the app topped the App Store.
Yes, it's still not available on Android, and yes, only in the US. Yet, it's the top app right now.
Can Trump keep this new social network relevant? Will Truth Social build up a diverse enough user-base to compete with Twitter? Does it even matter now that Elon owns Twitter? Only time will tell.
2. Everyone (Isn't) Leaving Twitter
The big news this week came after a few weeks of internet struggle for iron man. Elon Musk has officially acquired Twitter this week in a deal that had so many ups and downs I'd rather just skip to the end.
Somehow this transaction became political, something I really don't want to touch, so I'm going to focus on the numbers.
See, so many people threatened they'd leave Twitter that I was curious to see if downloads would also suffer.
No, not at all. Downloads actually skyrocketed!
Twitter became the #2 most downloaded app in the US this week, right behind Trump's Truth Social.
We estimate that all the commotion around Twitter has caused downloads, which averaged somewhere in the 300,000 to 400,000 range earlier in the year, to double to more than 750,000 on Tuesday.
More than double!
So, not everyone is leaving, and looking at the numbers, many many are joining.
Twitter has changed so many times in the past that this feels somewhat normal for me. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens.
3. Apple Gets Ready to Eliminate Almost 30% of Apps in the App Store
News emerged last week that Apple has been emailing developers who haven't updated their apps in over two years and threatening with removal if the apps aren't updated in the next 30 days.
I was curious how many apps and games could disappear next month, so I used Explorer to see how many apps in the App Store haven't been updated in over two years.
The short answer is a lot!
The more precise answer is 752,412. That's right, Apple is threatening to remove almost a million apps from App Store. Explorer shows these apps come from 260,000 unique developers. That's a lot of emails!
There are 2,126,366 apps and games in the App Store right, now which means Apple could be eliminating 35% of apps in a few days.
Who's going to take the hit? Digging a bit deeper with Explorer, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the largest category to get hit is games, which make up roughly 20% of all offending apps. Education, Business, Utilities, and Lifestyle round out the top 5.
Will Apple actually delete so many apps? It won't be the first time. Over the last few years, Apple has quietly groomed the App Store, eliminating hundreds of thousands of apps that are no longer up to snuff, so this is totally plausible.
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4. Dating App Hinge Hits a New All-Time Revenue High
One of the apps Apple isn't sweeping any time soon is Hinge, the dating app that's been chasing big swipers Tinder and Bumble. And the chase is strong. Especially when we look at revenue.
According to our estimates, Hinge set a new record for daily revenue last Sunday with nearly $620,000 of net revenue globally, though primarily driven by the US. For context, Hinge's daily average in March was around $410,000. That's an increase of more than 50% from March.
Hinge set its last daily high in January, the day when parental pressure forces many single folks to unlock unlimited swipes to find love, or get their parents to leave them alone. One or the other.
Although commendable, Hinge has a long road to travel before it can catch up to its swipey rivals Bumble and Tinder, who operate at what feels like a different level. Bumble earns more than 3x what Hinge does on average every day, and Tinder more than doubles that.
5. Airbnb Beat COVID, Sets a New Daily Downloads High
It's been a while since we looked at how apps that were hit the hardest by covid lockdowns are faring. I'm happy to share some good news.
Airbnb was one of the apps that got hurt by covid lockdowns the most. It was doing so well in 2019, but then lockdowns made growth very hard, and downloads got cut by as much as 80%.
Airbnb spent most of 2021 rebuilding that growth, and as of this week, hit a single-day downloads higher than any day going back pre-pandemic.
Our estimates show that in 2018, daily downloads averaged around 80,000. That grew to about 100,000 in 2019, but hit a low of under 30,000 in the early days of the pandemic. It averaged 60,000 in 2020 and in 2021 climbed back to around 80,0000 daily downloads.
2022 has been Airbnb's greatest rally!
Daily downloads have been growing steadily, and this Tuesday, crossed 158,000, according to our estimates. That's higher than any single day going back as far as 2017. The previous high was set in January of 2020, pre-pandemic.
I can't guarantee this crazy growth will continue forever, but having looked at many other apps that suffered, I don't think it'll stop any time soon. The demand for IRL is back, and it's strong.
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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.