The chaos that unfolded at Twitter following the Elon Musk takeover has some users looking for a way out. New data shows that while the number of people downloading Twitter from Apple’s app store and Google’s play store has increased since Musk’s takeover, the growth is minimal compared to the explosion in downloads from smaller rivals like Mastodon and Tumblr, as some Twitter users seem to be looking for alternatives.
In recent days, alternative social apps and microblogging platforms have seen strong growth, including Twitter’s decentralized open-source alternative, Mastodon. The service’s founder and CEO recently announced that Mastodon has surpassed one million monthly active users, after more than half a million users joined the network since the October 27 Twitter deal. But Mastodon isn’t the only app to take advantage of Twitter’s upheaval.
In a new report, application intelligence firm Sensor Tower analyzed the growth of social apps after Musk’s arrival
She notes that Mastodon saw around 322,000 new downloads in US app stores in the 12 days since the Twitter acquisition (October 27 to November 7), more than 100 times the 3,000 recorded downloads. during the previous 12 days. Globally, the app grew by 657% to reach 1 million installs during the same period from October 27 to November 7, compared to 15,000 during the previous 12 days.
Mastodon’s other third-party customers also saw an uptick, with Metatext and Tootle both growing from less than 1,000 installs to 19,000 and 7,000, respectively, between the two periods.
But Mastodon isn’t the only network seeing a spike in app installs.
Tumblr also saw its app installs in the US increase by 96%, from 47,000 to 92,000 between the two periods. Additionally, its global installs grew by 77%, from 170,000 to 301,000.
Additionally, alternative social app CounterSocial grew 2,300% to 24,000 installs in US app stores in the 12 days following the acquisition, and grew 3,200% globally, with 33,000 installs, according to the report.
Another intelligence app company, data.ai, analyzed the data in a slightly different way. It looked at the global growth in downloads of various social apps for a seven-day period following the acquisition (October 27 to November 2) and then compared it to the previous seven-day period. Its data also confirmed the huge gains made by Mastodon and CounterSocial in terms of global install growth between the two periods. Mastodon installs jumped 2,200% and CounterSocial installs jumped 1,200%, according to the analysis.
But Data.ai looked deeper into the app store charts and found that a number of other social apps were seeing increases, beyond just direct Twitter alternatives.
These include David’s Disposable (+83% in both periods), nFollowers (+50%), CocoFun (+46%), Substack Reader (+24%), Tribel (+11%), Tumblr (+ 7%) and Pinterest (+2%). Substack, in particular, branded itself as a social community after acquiring Twitter, and even launched a new chat feature that allows writers and their audiences to engage in online discussions.
That’s not to say the drama was entirely negative for Twitter. surprisingly, it turns out that some people have even installed the app since the acquisition.
Data.ai shows that installs of the Twitter app jumped 17% after the acquisition, while Sensor Tower saw a 21% increase over a slightly longer period. Twitter reported 7.6 million installs worldwide and $502,000 in consumer spending in the 12 days following the acquisition, up from 6.3 million installs and $502,000 in consumer spending. to $303,000 in expenses from the previous 12-day period.
These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt for now, however, as the launch of Twitter Blue was put on hold after just a few days. There is no reason to believe that these figures indicate, for the moment, a significant increase in demand for the long-term subscription. These data will come with time. In any case, it shows Musk’s ability to market products to his fanbase and general user curiosity about what’s happening with Twitter’s products right now.
Although Twitter saw some slight gains this week, not everyone is happy with the changes. Some Twitter users expressed their anger over the acquisition in the Twitter app’s App Store ratings. On November 5, 2022, the app experienced a spike in negative ratings with the addition of 119 iOS ratings to a star; highest number of negative reviews in a single day, also according to Sensor Tower data.
However, this isn’t the biggest wave of negative reviews Twitter has ever seen. Other incidents caused larger increases. After Trump’s ban, for example, Twitter received 801 star reviews on Jan. 9, 2021. It also spiked in March 2022, after the new timeline rolled out, and in April, when Elon Musk said that he was buying Twitter. The biggest spike in negative reviews of the year didn’t even happen this week, but on October 28, when the deal with Musk was finalized.
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