“Let me guess,” I hear you say. “TikTok tops the list?”
Actually, it doesn’t, but it’s right up there. Apple has this week released its listings of the most downloaded apps for 2019, based on App Store activity over the past eleven and a bit months.
And while there are separate lists for paid apps, games, and iPad apps, the most important one is probably the overall listing of most popular free apps – which is:
- Google Maps
Most of the app ranking data throughout the year has focused on the rise of TikTok, which, as you can see, comes in at fourth most popular. But really, the listings are another reminder of the digital dominance of Google and Facebook. Google-owned apps come in at 1, 6 and 9, respectively, while Facebook also has three spots in the top 10 (2, 5 and 8).
Snapchat has also held its ground, despite all the attention that TikTok has garnered. In fact, considering that billions of people have already downloaded most of the apps on the list, it’s somewhat surprising that TikTok isn’t right up on top.
Questions have been raised about TikTok’s usage stats – TikTok hasn’t released any official update in its active user count since reporting 500 million monthly actives in July last year, though it has, more recently, suggested that it’s now somewhat higher than that. Some industry watchers have suggested that TikTok’s advertising blitz (TikTok was the number one advertiser on Snapchat in September, and the number 2 advertiser on YouTube) has belied the actual user interest in the app. With TikTok pouring so much money into its ad blitz, it seems like the app is everywhere, but really, possibly, users may not be as engaged as this would suggest.
Given that Snapchat has come in ahead of TikTok on the App Store list, and Snapchat has 210 million daily active users, it’s hard to imagine TikTok would have any more than that, especially when you also consider Snap had a head start on TikTok in terms of downloads by virtue of being in the market for longer (though TikTok was originally Muscial.ly, which had some 200 million users by late 2017).
But really, overall, there are no big surprises in Apple’s list. Other than TikTok, most of these apps have floated around the top download charts for the past few years, and you would expect them to stay there, given the usage of each.
In terms of marketing insight, the listing shows that YouTube should probably be higher on brand priority lists, while the rise of TikTok – aforementioned concerns aside – makes it one to watch and consider.
You can check out the rest of the apps in the App Store download report for 2019 here.
Jack Dorsey Exits Twitter Board, Clearing the Way for the Elon Musk Era at the App
While there’s no new news on the Elon Musk takeover saga, we do have another reminder that Twitter’s leadership team is never going to be the same, regardless of what comes next, with co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey today leaving the Twitter board, effective immediately.
Dorsey’s full exit removes another big chunk of experience from the company – over the past two weeks, Twitter has lost:
- Consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour, who’d worked at Twitter for four years
- Head of revenue product Bruce Falck (5 years)
- Ilya Brown, a VP of product management (6 years)
- Katrina Lane, VP of Twitter Service (1 year)
- Max Schmeiser, head of data science (2 years)
That said, Dorsey’s move, isn’t a surprise.
Back in November, when Dorsey announced that he was standing down as Twitter CEO, he also noted that he would stay on Twitter’s board till around ‘May-ish’ to help incoming CEO Parag Agrawal and incoming Twitter Board chair Bret Taylor with their respective transitions.
Of course, back then, Dorsey couldn’t have predicted the chaos on the horizon, but despite the distractions of an imminent takeover, Dorsey has decided to stick with his original plan, and step away from the platform that he helped build.
That clears the path for a new era under Elon Musk, who has vowed to make significant changes to the way that Twitter operates – though of late, Musk seems to be more distracted by stats on population decline and political conspiracies than he does in completing the Twitter deal.
On May 13th, Musk said that his Twitter takeover offer was effectively ‘on hold’ pending more data from Twitter on its fake profile count, which it pegs at 5% of active users. Many users have since shared partial evidence that, in their opinion, proves that this number is not correct, while Twitter itself has maintained that there’s no such thing as ‘on hold’ in the takeover process, and that it’s preparing for the deal to close sometime soon.
Musk says that he won’t pay full price for something that’s not what he believed he was purchasing.
But then again, Musk also waived doing detailed due diligence on Twitter’s business, in order to reach an agreement faster, which means that he may be tied to the purchase anyway, regardless of what Twitter or anyone else may find here.
For his part, Dorsey has been a strong advocate for Musk, and his interest in Twitter, and has noted several times that he believes Musk is the best option to ‘save’ the company.
Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is “maximally trusted and broadly inclusive” is the right one. This is also @paraga’s goal, and why I chose him. Thank you both for getting the company out of an impossible situation. This is the right path…I believe it with all my heart.
— jack (@jack) April 26, 2022
Now Dorsey is getting out of the way to let that happen, which will mean that none of Twitter’s four founders remain in any position to advise or guide the platform in any direct capacity from now on.
That could be a good thing. Twitter, of course, is a far cry from what it was in the beginning, and maybe now it needs to detach from its founding concepts to reach its next stage.
But again, that’s a lot of experience heading out the door, with current CEO Agrawal also on the chopping block, according to Musk’s statements.
How that impacts Twitter’s future direction is hard to say. Again, Musk has already flagged significant changes, but without experienced voices advising him on what’s happened in the past, he could be doomed to repeat previous mistakes, impeding the company’s progress even more.
Or maybe it makes things easier, without the constraints of past limitations holding things up. I would lean towards the former, but clearly, Musk has his own ideas about how he’s going to transform the app, once he does, eventually, take control.
Which seems like more of a ‘when’ than ‘if’, but maybe Musk has some other trick up his sleeve to either reduce his offer price or get out of the Twitter deal entirely.
Either way, massive changes are coming to the app, which could alter the way that it’s used entirely.
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