The world spent $65 billion on apps in the first half of 2022, which is just a little more than the $64.4 billion spent in the same time period in 2021. This is because the rapid growth caused by the pandemic has slowed down. Overall, though, the app economy is still growing. The iOS and Google Play stores together saw a record number of downloads and spending by users in 2021, according to the most recent year-end reports. Last year, people spent $133 billion on iOS and Google Play, and they downloaded 143.6 billion apps.
This Week in Apps lets you keep up with this fast-paced industry in one place. It has the latest news, updates, funding for startups, mergers, and acquisitions, and much more.
This week, Google announced new features for its Play Store that will put more of the store’s listing assets at the developers’ “front and center.” The company says that the new Play Store will make better use of app screenshots, videos, and descriptions on large-screen devices like tablets, foldable, and Chromebooks. Google says this will make it easier for Android users to find new apps and games to download.
It is also giving developers the ability to upload Chromebook-specific screenshots to the Play Console so that the Chromebook experience can be shown off better. Developers can add up to eight screenshots. Landscape 16:9 screenshots with dimensions between 1080 and 7690px are recommended. Google is updating its quality guidelines for tablets to make sure they are the same on large screens as well. However, it says that the changes won’t affect anything that has already been uploaded.
Google also put out a set of guidelines for content quality to help developers learn the best ways to show off apps on big screens.
The changes that were announced this week come after an earlier update to the Play Store that let users filter search results by device. This made it easier for them to find and download apps for devices other than phones, like smartwatches, TVs, and cars, even through remote installs. The feature arrived just in time, as Google released its first smartwatch under the Pixel brand earlier this month.
Real traction for BeReal
Real traction for BeReal is a social media app for people in their teens and twenties. It encourages its users to take a photo every day. But new estimates from a third-party app intelligence firm show that only a small number of the app’s users are doing this right now. Sensor Tower’s research shows that BeReal is gaining a lot of traction in a number of ways. For example, since January 2022, the number of monthly active users has increased by 2,254% and the number of downloads from the App Store and Google Play has topped 53 million. But as of the third quarter of this year, only 9% of its Android users who have the app installed open it every day.
Active users are a better measure of how popular an app is than the number of downloads since many people install an app just to try it out but then delete it if they don’t like it.
Sensor Tower says that BeReal is still behind well-known social media giants in this area. Today, 9% of the Android users who have downloaded and are actively using the BeReal app now open it every day. That’s not even close to Instagram or TikTok. In this category, 39% of Instagram’s active users open the app every day, while only 29% of TikTok’s users do the same. This is followed by Facebook (27%), Snapchat (26%), YouTube (20%), and Twitter (18%).
Of course, people who like BeReal point out that the app isn’t being used as much on Android as it is on iOS, which is something we said in our first report. Since many of the app’s new downloads come from young people in the U.S., where iOS is more popular, this number may not give a full picture of how the app is being used right now. But it gives an inside look at a company that doesn’t want to talk to the press on the record or share any of its metrics, growth, or funding. So, for now, all we have is data from third parties. If Android usage can be extrapolated to iOS, it shows that not all of BeReal’s users are regular addicts. (Yet?)
Another mobile app data company, 42matters, thought that BeReal’s MAUs on Android only grew by 633% this year, from 43,899 in January to 321,787 in August 2022.