This Week in Apps - Gone Public

Ariel Ariel
7 minute read Mar. 29

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)

App Store
418.59 -12.9%
Google Play
286.12 +10.7%


1. Hello Peacock - The Highest Earning Apps in the World

March is almost behind us, but before it goes we need to rank the highest-earning apps in February! I did that and I'm happy to report the most exciting change is Disney+'s icon change.

No no, there's more. I mean, less.

TikTok was the highest-earning app in the world in February. Our estimates show it commanded $189M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play. A smidge lower than January, but not enough to worry.

YouTube ranked second in February, having earned $111M of net revenue from the App Store, according to our estimates. Unlike TikTok, YouTube's revenue rose a teeny tiny bit - but is still considerably lower than TikTok. The two monetize entirely differently so it's not a fair comparison, but it's still a very large difference.

Disney+ and it's siny new(ish) teal icon ranked 3rd earning $107M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play, according to our App Intelligence. Disney+'s revenue also rose a bit in February. I don't think the icon change did that.

Tinder, Max, and LinkedIn round out the top 5 highest-earning apps in the world.

With new year's resolutions are all but forgotten so is Duolingo which dropped from our list in February after having a mega January. Rising into the list in February was Peacock with $33M of net revenue, according to our estimates.

Together, the top 10 highest-earning apps in the world earned a total of $728M of net revenue in February, according to our estimates. That's a tiny drop of 3% compared to January.

2. Pass Go, Collect $108M - The Highest Earning Games in the World

I crunched through every mobile game on the App Store and ranked them all by revenue in February.

Here are the results:

Monopoly Go was the highest-earning game in the world in February! Our estimates show the blockbuster title earned $108M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play. A smidge higher than January's total, which is great considering February was a shorter month.

Chinese title King of Glory rose a spot from January to take the second place with $104M in estimated net revenue. Net means what's left after store fees. King of Glory's month-over-month revenue rose 8.3% in February.

January's second place, Royal Match, dropped to third place in February as net revenue dropped 10% to $93M, according to our estimates.

Peace Elite and Candy Crush swapped places in February and round out the top 5 highest earners for the month.

Fewer China-Only titles made the top list in February as Crossfire and TFT Mobile dropped after a strong January. In addition, Pokemon GO is back on the list with $54M of net revenue.

According to our App Intelligence, the top 10 highest-earning games earned $678M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play in February. Although some of the top games earned more, revenue for the group dropped 4%.

3. Checking In - Is Telegram's Revenue Still Growing?

Telegram is one of three apps I've been following closely since they started monetizing their free users. X and Snapchat are the other two.

Telegram's revenue has been growing steadily since the subscription rolled out in the summer of 2022, but February's biggest month to date!

Perfect timing considering the company just raised $330M in fresh money as it aims to become profitable and potentially IPO.

Telegram ended February with $5.2M in net revenue from the App Store and Google Play, according to our estimates. That's a 13% increase from January which was higher than December.

Overall, Telegram is doing very well. Revenue growth can be described as "slow and steady", which is probably why it needs to raise additional revenue. But slow and steady may win this race. Only time will tell.

To date, Telegram earned a total of $52M of net revenue, mainly coming in through the App Store, where Russia is the biggest contributer followed by Ukraine.

Downloads aren't too different. Telegram has been growing its downloads steadily since rolling out the in-app purchase in a slow and steady kind of way.

Our estimates show 26M downloads in February and a total of 506M downloads since June of 2022, when the in-app purchase was added. Unlike revenue, downloads are coming mainly from India, which contributed 94M to that total.

Overall, Telegram is growing both in downloads and revenue - just not too fast.

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4. Truth Social Had a Big IPO - Are the Downloads There to Back it Up?

Truth Social, Donald Trump's social network, went public this week. This is the second social media IPO in the last few weeks, and like the one before it, Truth Social's stock opened very strong!

But, is there real merit to the stock's behavior or is it just politics?

Let's have a look at downloads - the best indicator for current and potential growth.

So far, March has been one of Truth Social's best months for downloads. According to our estimates, Truth Social made its way into 397K iOS and Android devices in March (which won't be over for a few more days).

Truth Social saw 97K downloads in February and 93K in January, so March is pretty big.

But this isn't Trump's best month of downloads. Truth Social's best month of downloads was April of 2022, when the app wasn't even available on Google Play. Our estimates show there were 733K in April. Two other months got close, but most other months averaged 90K downloads.

Looking at the trend, Truth Social's growth is mainly flat until there's some event that causes a big spike in downloads.

Since rolling out in February of 2022, Truth Social was downloaded 6.6M times from the App Store and Google Play, according to our estimates.

One thing to note is that in most months, downloads from the App Store and Google Play are fairly even, which is usually a sign of paid user acquisition and not organic growth.

A look at our Search Ads Insights confirms Truth Social is advertising within the App Store. Truth Social is bidding on lots of keywords containing "truth", "twitter", and some competitor names across more than 4K keywords.

To answer my original question - I wouldn't call this trend amazing in any way. And I don't mean that in any political sense, just by purely looking at the numbers. And I'm not a financial advisor, but I don't expect the stock's price to align with demand for the app (for now, at least).

5. Temu Relaxing Ad Spend in the US Pushed a Different Shopping App to the Top

For more than a year now, Chinese shopping app Temu held the #1 spot on the App Store's top charts. It was pushed down a few times, but never for too long.

Over the last couple of weeks, however, downloads in the US have decreased allowing rival SHEIN to gain momentum.

According to our estimates, Temu was averaging 165K downloads per day in January and February. Although the trend was sloping down, daily downloads were still clinging to that average for the most part.

At the same time, SHEIN averaged around 100K daily downloads and the trend was positive.

In case you're not familiar, Temu and SHEIN both sell goods shipped directly from China at a fraction of what they'd cost in the store. SHEIN is focused on clothes while Temu has everything.

In mid-March, Temu's downloads started dropping quickly and within a week, Temu's daily downloads dropped to just 72K - a 56% drop!

Although downloads have increased a bit since hitting rock bottom they're still pretty close to it.

At the same time, SHEIN's downloads continued to rise - slowly. This week SHEIN's downloads rose to 108K a small but important addition that pushed SHEIN into the #2 spot in the US charts.

I hope SHEIN enjoys this before it ends because I'm pretty sure it will soon.

We know that Temu relies heavily on Apple Search Ads to maintain its command of the App Store. Knowing that, I suspect Temu's decrease is an experiment in demand. Temu is trying to see how much momentum they've already built by turning off/down paid ads and seeing where the app will land in the top chart all on its own.

I give it another week before Temu reclaims its throne.

App Intelligence for Everyone!

The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

Are you a Journalist? You can get access to our app and market intelligence for free through the Appfigures for Journalists program. Contact us for more details.

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.

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