Snapchat, the rapidly growing social application favored by mobile’s youngest users, has hit a notable milestone: for the first time ever, its iOS application reached the top of the iTunes App Store, where it briefly become the #1 overall free application in the U.S. While Snapchat is almost always in the top five or ten, the highest rank it had achieved previously in the U.S. was #2, according to data from App Annie and internal sources.
The app only hit the top spot for a short period of time today – around 2 hours – which means it may end up recording today’s ranking as a #2 position when all is said and done.
Snapchat’s climb to the top of the store was first spotted by Appsfire CEO Ouriel Ohayon on Twitter.
And it’s done. Ladies and gentlemen, for the 1st time ever Snapchat is the #1 free app in the USA pic.twitter.com/QP7IymMyQ4
— Ouriel Ohayon (@OurielOhayon) March 25, 2016
According to those familiar with Snapchat’s ranking, as tracked by the company internally, the app has gotten very close to #1 in recent months. The app hit #2 Overall multiple times in February 2016 (Feb. 5 & 12), and in March 2016 (March 21-23). It also reached the #2 spot on November 27, 2015 and September 16 and 17, 2015. It had also reached #2 in 2014 and 2013 a few times as well, but never anything higher.
The jump comes on the back of news that Snapchat bought bitmoji maker Bitstrips, in a deal valued in the ballpark of $100 million, according to a report from Fortune. The interest surrounding this news story could have caused an increase in downloads – enough to at least briefly move the needle enough to see the app grab the #1 position.
Snapchat’s iOS application has been on a steady climb since December, where it had been struggling to climb back into the top 10 just ahead of the holidays. After Christmas, Snapchat bounced around in the top 10 Overall Free applications, and by last month, it was flirting with the number one position, but always falling just one or two positions short.
By the beginning of March, Snapchat toggled between positions #3 and #4, then reached the #2 spot on March 20, according to App Annie’s data. It held onto that ranking for the days that followed, until finally jumping into the number one position today, Friday, March 25th.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Snapchat has held the number one spot on iTunes anywhere in the world – it has scored that position in a number of smaller markets where the App Store is less competitive than here in the U.S. That includes a handful of North, South, and Central American countries, as well as European and Asian countries, among others, including places like Spain, Brazil, France, Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere.
However, achieving the top spot in the U.S. is much more of a feat – that means Snapchat had to beat out other big-name apps like Messenger, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube as well as a number of popular games. As the day progresses, we’ll see if the app is able to bump itself back into the #1 spot, or if ends up hanging around at #2 for the rest of Friday.