Apps

Numerous social apps see gains in wake of Twitter chaos, new data shows

Comment

Mastodon icon on a portion of smartphone screen
Image Credits: TechCrunch

The drama at Twitter following Elon Musk’s acquisition has seen some users looking for an exit. In recent days, alternative social apps and microblogging platforms have seen strong gains, including, most notably, the open source decentralized Twitter alternative Mastodon. The service’s founder and CEO recently announced Mastodon had topped 1 million monthly active users, after more than half a million users joined the network since the October 27th Twitter deal’s closure. (It’s now reached 1.5 million.) But Mastodon isn’t the only app profiting from Twitter’s upheaval.

In a new report, app intelligence firm Sensor Tower analyzed social app growth after Musk took over.

It noted Mastodon has seen approximately 322,000 new downloads from U.S. app stores in the 12 days following Twitter’s acquisition (October 27 through November 7), which is more than 100x the 3,000 it had seen in the prior 12-day period. Globally, the app grew 657% to 1 million installs during that same October 27-November 7 time frame, up from 15,000 in the 12 days prior.

Other third-party Mastodon clients saw a bump, too, with Metatext and Tootle both growing from less than 1,000 installs to 19,000 and 7,000, respectively, between the two time periods.

But Mastodon isn’t the only network seeing an uptick in app installs, as it turns out.

Tumblr also saw its U.S. app installs grow 96% from 47,000 to 92,000 between the two time periods. Plus, its global installs grew 77% from 170,000 to 301,000.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

In addition, alternative social app CounterSocial grew 2,300% to 24,000 installs in U.S. app stores in the 12 days following the acquisition, and grew 3,200% globally, with 33,000 installs, the report said.

Another app intelligence firm, data.ai, sliced the data in a slightly different way. It examined various social apps’ worldwide download growth during a seven-day period following the acquisition (October 27 through November 2), then compared that with the prior seven-day period.

Its data, shared exclusively with TechCrunch, also confirmed the sizable gains made by Mastodon and CounterSocial in terms of the growth in global installs between the two time periods. Mastodon’s installs jumped 2,200% and CounterSocial’s grew 1,200% its analysis found.

But Data.ai looked further up and down the apps stores’ charts and found that a number of other social apps were seeing bumps, beyond just direct Twitter alternatives.

These included David’s Disposable (up 83% during the two time periods), nFollowers (up 50%), CocoFun (up 46%), Substack Reader (up 24%), Tribel (up 11%), Tumblr (up 7%) and Pinterest (up 2%). Substack, in particular, has been marketing itself as a social community following the Twitter acquisition, even launching a new discussions feature that allows writers and their audience to engage in threaded chats. Dispo had fun trolling Twitter’s chaos in a couple of tweets and memes, like one that celebrated how Musk doesn’t own the Dispo app.

Image Credits: data.ai

This isn’t to say the drama has been all bad for Twitter. Surprisingly, some people have even newly installed the app since the acquisition, as it turns out.

Data.ai shows Twitter’s app installs jumped 17% after the acquisition, while Sensor Tower’s look at the slightly longer timeframe saw a 21% increase. The latter said Twitter saw 7.6 million global installs and $502,000 in consumer spending in the 12 days after the acquisition, an increase from 6.3 million installs and $303,000 in spending in the prior 12-day period.

These consumer spending numbers, however, should be taken with a grain of salt for now as Twitter Blue’s launch was put on pause after being live for only a couple of days. There’s no reason to believe that these figures indicate, as of yet, a significant increase in demand for the subscription with long-term staying power. That data will come in time. If anything, it shows Musk’s ability to market things to his fanbase and users’ general curiosity about what’s going on with Twitter’s products at present.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Though Twitter may have seen slight gains this week, not everyone is happy about the changes. Some angrier Twitter users took out their angst over the acquisition in the Twitter app’s reviews on the App Store.

On November 5, 2022, the app saw a spike in negative ratings as 119 one-star iOS reviews were added — the most it has seen in a single day during this latest surge in negative reviews, also according to data from Sensor Tower.

However, this isn’t the biggest surge of negative reviews Twitter has ever seen, we understand. Other incidents have caused larger bumps. After Trump was banned, for instance, Twitter saw 801 one-star reviews on January 9, 2021. It also saw a surge in March 2022 after the new timeline was rolled out and in April and when Elon Musk said he was buying Twitter.

Its largest spike in negative reviews this year wasn’t even this week — it was on October 28, when Musk’s deal was finalized.

Overall, however, it was the Israel-Palestine crisis in May 2021 that resulted in the highest volume of new negative reviews, followed by the Trump ban.

 

 

Got a news tip or inside information about a topic we covered? We’d love to hear from you. You can reach Sarah Perez at sarahp@techcrunch.com or on Signal at 415.234.3994. Or you can drop us a note at tips@techcrunch.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous click here to contact us, which includes SecureDrop (instructions here) and various encrypted messaging apps. 

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

14 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

16 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android