Fb is dropping its grip as a ‘High 10’ app as BeReal and TikTok develop • TechCrunch


Fb this 12 months has been struggling to keep up its place among the many High 10 apps on the U.S. App Retailer, in keeping with an evaluation of iPhone App Retailer information. As youthful shoppers shift to newer social networking experiences like TikTok and now BeReal, the tech big’s massive blue app has misplaced traction within the App Retailer’s High Charts.

Final 12 months, as an example, Fb solely fell out of the High 10 free iPhone apps within the U.S. seven occasions. However in 2022, that determine has already soared to 97 — a sign that Fb could also be dropping floor as new apps push their method into the App Retailer’s prime rankings.

For a extra direct comparability, Fb’s app fell out of the App Retailer’s High 10 apps simply six occasions throughout the first half of 2021. Within the first half of 2022, nonetheless, it has dropped out of this grouping a complete of 59 occasions, per information offered to TechCrunch by app intelligence agency Sensor Tower.

It even as soon as stayed out of the High 10 so long as 37 consecutive days in 2022, the agency famous, up from simply two consecutive days in 2021.

Extra evaluation offered by one other App Retailer information supplier, data.ai (beforehand App Annie), additionally supported this conclusion — although it discovered the app dropped out of the High 10 on iPhone within the U.S. solely 4 occasions all through 2021, in contrast with 110 days in 2022 to this point. It discovered Fb’s drop-off occasions this 12 months had been primarily concentrated in April, Could and June. April was Fb’s worst month to this point, because the app’s rank fell into the 30s on April 18, after which reached as little as No. 44 on April 21. Notably, this was across the time that BeReal was climbing the App Store’s Top Charts, breaking into the High 5. At present, BeReal is the No. 1 non-gaming app on the U.S. App Retailer.

To what extent this pattern needs to be regarding for Fb is much less clear.

The corporate hasn’t persistently held onto a powerful place within the High 10 in prior years, both. Plus, a rating in High 10 Apps is just one technique of measuring an app’s success — it’s an indicator of an organization’s means to draw new customers, however not its means to keep up traction with current ones. On that entrance, Fb hasn’t but conceded. It’s nonetheless the highest app by month-to-month lively customers as of the latest quarter, per information.ai’s evaluation.

That mentioned, when Fb is dropping its High 10 place to newcomers in social networking — like the present No. 1 app BeReal — it’s extra problematic than if it had been dropping its rank as a consequence of progress from COVID-era necessities, like Zoom.

Picture Credit: Maskot (opens in a new window) / Getty Photos

A failure to encourage a brand new era of customers is one thing the corporate is worried about and a subject Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken candidly about earlier than.

Last fall, the exec told investors the corporate has been “retooling” its teams to make serving younger adults its north star, reasonably than “optimizing for the bigger variety of older folks” utilizing its apps. He admitted this kind of shift may take years, not months, to perform. Unstated was whether or not the corporate would achieve success advertising and marketing Fb to a brand new era — particularly at a time when the corporate was betting billions on the so-called metaverse.

However Meta has been properly conscious of its teen points lengthy earlier than we noticed the indicators mirrored within the High Charts.

Final October, Bloomberg reported Fb had been compiling inside reviews exhibiting the “time spent” metric for U.S. youngsters on Fb was down 16% 12 months over 12 months as of March 2021. Younger adults within the U.S. had been spending 5% much less time on Fb, the info confirmed, and the variety of new teen signups was declining, too. (The report was one of many a whole bunch launched by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.)

This 12 months, Meta introduced one other regarding metric.

In February 2022, the corporate reported to traders Facebook had lost daily active users for the primary time in its historical past and its monthly active users remained flat. Whereas the every day lively customers grew barely in subsequent quarters, the platform lost more monthly actives after a ban in Russia — a sign {that a} single market loss may dampen Fb’s progress.

As of the latest quarter, Fb’s every day lively customers had climbed again up from the 1.929 billion reported in February, when the determine had dropped, to now 1.97 billion.

Sizable numbers like these, mixed with the slight upward tick, could make Fb’s points troublesome to identify. It’s not lifeless but, in spite of everything! And the flagship app isn’t the one arrow within the firm’s quiver.

Final 12 months, Meta-owned apps scored all 4 of the highest spots by way of month-to-month lively customers worldwide, led by Fb at No. 1, per data.ai’s “State of Mobile” annual report. It was adopted by WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram — properly forward of TikTok at No. 6. This previous quarter nonetheless sees Fb at No. 1, however is now adopted by Messenger, Amazon, then Instagram. TikTok has moved as much as No. 5.

What these figures masks, nonetheless, is that Meta’s apps — and significantly Fb — are boosted by older adults mixed with sturdy utilization in each giant and rising web markets. India has the highest number of Facebook users as a consequence of its giant inhabitants, as an example. This clouds the image as to the place Fb could also be headed in the long run. In any case, it’s the upcoming era of social networking customers who will drive the platforms of the long run.

To forecast the place that market might be headed, it helps to keep watch over the App Retailer’s High Charts. These charts are largely a window into new app installations, mixed with the rate of installations and different elements. U.S. information can be vital to look at because it’s one of many largest markets for social networking apps, and one which — maybe extra critically — helps drive important revenues.

The downloads fueling the High Charts embody folks putting in an app for the primary time — a metric that may skew youthful as, right now, it represents the Gen Alpha demographic and tail finish of Gen Z — teams who could also be getting their first smartphones, comparable to youngsters, tweens or teenagers. In 2022, these persons are not downloading Fb in giant sufficient numbers for the app to simply keep its High 10 place. As an alternative, newer apps like TikTok, BeReal and perennial Gen Z favourite Snapchat, are dominating the High Charts.

Different third-party analysis additionally suggests Fb is dropping its means to achieve a brand new era of U.S. customers. A latest Pew Research Center study, printed this month, discovered that solely 32% of U.S. teenagers aged 13-17 mentioned they use Fb, whereas a earlier survey from 2014-2015 noticed that determine at 71%. However Pew’s research, whereas related, are primarily based on what customers say they’re doing, whereas the App Retailer’s charts are a sign of what persons are truly doing.

And for now, it appears, what persons are doing is searching for out Fb alternate options within the type of novel social networking experiences pushed by advice engines, like TikTok, or by real-world friendships, like BeReal and Snapchat.

Replace: 8/19/22, 9 AM ET Added further information from information.ai. 



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