Twitter alternative winners and losers, BeReal declines, iOS web apps to get notifications • ClassyBuzz

Welcome again to This Week in Apps, the weekly ClassyBuzz sequence that recaps the most recent in cellular OS information, cellular functions and the general app economic system.

The app economic system in 2023 hit a couple of snags, as client spending final yr dropped for the primary time by 2% to $167 billion, in accordance to’s “State of Cellular” report. Nevertheless, downloads are persevering with to develop, up 11% year-over-year in 2022 to attain 255 billion. Shoppers are additionally spending extra time in cellular apps than ever earlier than. On Android gadgets alone, hours spent in 2022 grew 9%, reaching 4.1 trillion.

This Week in Apps provides a method to sustain with this fast-moving trade in a single place with the most recent from the world of apps, together with information, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and far more.

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This week’s theme appears to be a decline in progress for some much-buzzed-about apps, together with a bunch of Twitter alternate options, AI picture apps and even the BeReal. Let’s dive in.

How are the Twitter alternate options faring now?

Picture Credit: Bryce Durbin / ClassyBuzz

Was there a Twitter exodus or only a Twitter pause? Did it even matter? This week, ClassyBuzz dug into new information so as to check out how a spread of “Twitter alternate options” have fared within the months following Elon Musk’s acquisition of the favored microblogging community, now that the burst of recent installs pushed by his takeover has tapered off. The information signifies that many apps proceed to develop to a lesser diploma whereas different apps have seen progress decline. However it additionally reveals that Twitter itself was by no means considerably impacted, at the least by way of new app installs.

After all, app installs is just one window into this information. However personal corporations don’t typically share figures associated to energetic utilization, so monitoring client demand by means of app downloads is a technique to decide market curiosity. What’s attention-grabbing right here is that we discovered Twitter installs have trended again up after earlier declines. Downloads grew from 16.6 million installs in October to 18.6 million in November as Musk took over, then dropped in December to 16.9 million. Final month, they once more jumped again to 18.6 million installs, giving Twitter the identical 24.8% progress price it had in November.

In the meantime, different Twitter alternate options have seen drop-offs in progress. Whereas our report examined Reddit and Discord, neither of those appear to have had their fortunes immediately tied to Twitter’s ups and downs, because it turned out. Different alternate options like Hive, GETTR and Tribel have seen their progress gradual. Tribel, as an example, solely added 1,100 new downloads in January. Tumblr definitely had a November bump pushed by the Twitter exodus as effectively however remains to be up barely increased in December (510,000 installs) and January (480,000) in contrast with September and October.

Mastodon’s installs have been down fairly a bit from November’s peak of two.9 million month-to-month downloads. It nonetheless managed to acquire 180,000 new installs in January — that’s 169,000 extra installs than it had in September 2022. So it’s not in decline but.

If something, the largest increase to the broader Twitter alternative app ecosystem hinges on new person consciousness of the Fediverse and Mastodon. Even when the Mastodon app itself hasn’t remodeled right into a dominant power, it’s early days. Fediverse progress might in the end be a pattern that performs out over an extended time period than only a few months post-Twitter acquisition, as extra apps be a part of the decentralization motion.

Web apps will get to act extra like actual apps on iPhone

Web Push on iOS

Picture Credit: WebKit blog (opens in a new window)

One of many extra notable modifications popping out of the iOS 16.4 beta is the information that Apple will now enable cellular web functions to perform extra like native functions by offering them entry to iOS’s push notification system. Which means web apps that get added to a person’s House Display screen can request permission to obtain push notifications if the person opts in — as an example by tapping on a subscribe button to obtain updates, as a put up on the WebKit blog explains. This may then enable the tip person to handle their push notifications for the app of their Settings, simply as they might for every other native iOS or iPadOS app.

The notifications would work similar to native notifications, too, showing in all areas the place you’d anticipate to see them, just like the Notification Middle, Lock Display screen and on a paired Apple Watch. The web apps’ icon also can show a badge with a badge depend and will work with Focus Modes. What’s extra, customers may even add a number of variations of the identical web app to their House Display screen, every with their very own settings — one thing that may be helpful for separating work and private use of some apps or a number of accounts, the put up notes.

Push notifications tied to web browsers isn’t new expertise, nevertheless it’s attention-grabbing to see Apple embrace the characteristic now that it’s beneath stress to display that it’s not participating in anti-competitive habits. With this variation, the corporate can level to web apps as an alternative to its App Retailer, claiming they’ve the identical capacity to goal and attain iPhone and iPad customers as native apps do.


Are we nonetheless Being Actual?

bereal daus

Is the shine sporting off BeReal? Fascinating information out this week from Apptopia (by way of Business of Apps) signifies that BeReal could have already peaked. The app is estimated to have hit 20 million each day energetic customers in October 2022, however that’s since dropped to 10.4 million. As well as, its month-to-month downloads fell from 12 million in September 2022 to 3.3 million in January, the report famous, citing information from AppMagic.

ClassyBuzz beforehand reported there have been indications that BeReal wasn’t gaining sufficient floor to preserve its excessive ranks after going viral. The app in October was mentioned to be seeing solely 9% of its Android customers open it each day. The app calls for little of its customers’ time — its push notification prompts a one-time use per day, and the bulk weren’t even giving it that. Some could have felt that information was unfair or unhelpful, notably given BeReal’s traction with U.S. teenagers and younger adults, most of whom are on iPhone. However together with the brand new information, it’s maybe extra of a priority.

The corporate has confronted challenges as its once-daily notification gimmick has been ripped off by Instagram, Snapchat and BeReal. In the meantime, the app itself has remained unchanged. There’s nothing to addict or re-engage customers — which is type of the purpose. The founders’ purpose is to create a brand new kind of social expertise that doesn’t demand large chunks of time and strives for authenticity. However in addition they haven’t laid out a imaginative and prescient for its future, regardless of a $60 million Collection B — a quantity that implies a grand plan needs to be in retailer or at the least monetization. It’s not a way of life enterprise, in spite of everything. It’s unclear the place BeReal goes subsequent at this level.

The AI picture app pattern has fizzled

Talking of apps in decline, that’s the place the AI picture app pattern has ended up.

Over the previous a number of months, AI-powered picture apps had been going viral on the App Retailer as customers explored AI-powered experiences like Lensa AI’s “magic avatars” characteristic and different apps promising to flip textual content into photographs utilizing AI tech. However new information signifies client curiosity in AI picture apps has fallen as rapidly because it rose.

At their peak of recognition, the highest AI picture apps topped 4.3 million each day downloads and ~$1.8 million per day in client spending by way of in-app purchases. As of this previous week, the identical group of apps noticed solely round 952,000 mixed downloads and round $507,000 in client spending, and the numbers proceed to fall.

Shoppers appeared to reply to the moral issues being raised across the apps. As ClassyBuzz had reported on the time, some individuals started to go away feedback on AI photographs and profile footage posted on social media to inform individuals not to use an app that steals from artists. This backlash possible quelled a number of the demand for AI artwork. In spite of everything, it’s not a lot enjoyable to use an AI pic to your profile in case you’re basically being accused of theft when doing so.


Apple launched iOS 16.3.1, iPadOS 16.3.1 and macOS Ventura 13.2.1 to patch a WebKit vulnerability. On its security update page, Apple wrote that it “is conscious of a report that this situation could have been actively exploited.
Apple launched iOS 16.4’s first beta, which brings various new options, together with 31 new emojis just like the pink coronary heart and shaking face; the power for web apps on iPhone and iPad to entry push notifications and show badges; help for wealthy content material previews of Mastodon posts in iMessage; and new options for Apple Podcasts together with a brand new “Channels” part and CarPlay updates.

The first macOS Ventura 13.3 beta was launched as effectively, together with tvOS 16.4 and watchOS 9.4.
Apple is making it easier for registered developers to set up iOS betas by permitting them to register their accounts so as to be opted into a brand new choice that lets them set up betas immediately from Software program Updates. The system will change the profiles beforehand required. However this variation means solely registered builders can set up the developer beta — those that aren’t registered can solely set up the general public beta as an alternative.
Apple officially released iOS 16 adoption figures, demonstrating it’s increased than iOS 15 with 81% of all iPhones from 2019 and on operating the most recent software program. As well as, 72% of all iPhones are operating iOS 16. Not as many iPads have updated, although, as solely 50% of all iPads are operating iPadOS 16, whereas 53% of these launched within the final 4 years are.


Google mentioned a small proportion of Android 13 gadgets can be enrolled within the beta trials of its new privateness sandbox, an interest-based ad-targeting system. Preliminary advert companions for the trial embody ClassyBuzz’s dad or mum Yahoo, cellular video games maker Rovio, mobility agency Wolt, cross-platform video games engine Unity and cellular advertising and marketing platforms AppsFlyer, InMobi Trade and Alter.
Google introduced that Play Video games Providers (PGS) is rolling out next-generation Player IDs. With this variation, says Google, “the primary time a person performs a sport, they’ll all the time be assigned a novel next-generation Participant ID that may stay constant whatever the machine or platform a person performs a sport on, however which is able to fluctuate from sport to sport.”
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Android cellphone’s new Message Guard feature is claimed to forestall zero-click exploits by way of messaging apps.


At its investor day, Snap introduced that Snapchat now has 750 million+ month-to-month energetic customers, up 25% from April 2022 and famous 150 million of these customers are in North America. Amongst a bevy of metrics it shared, it additionally mentioned its Snapchat+ $3.99/month subscription now has 2.5 million subscribers. The corporate mentioned it might focus extra on its Direct Response adverts enterprise going ahead, put money into AR and proceed M&A. It spoke little about its Spectacles and declined to reply a query on how the most recent in AI would affect its enterprise.

TikTok could also be developing a paywalled product the place creators might cost $1 or extra for movies. It’s additionally mentioned to be engaged on a revamped Creator Fund which might pay creators with 100,000+ followers.
Widespread Mastodon consumer Ivory acquired one thing Twitter customers waited eons for: an edit button.
Twitter started permitting hashish adverts on its platform in U.S. states the place it’s authorized. The adverts will promote manufacturers and supply information however not facilitate direct gross sales. The transfer comes after many bigger Twitter advertisers put their campaigns on pause, forcing Twitter to recoup its enterprise elsewhere.
Instagram launched Instagram Channels, a broadcast chat characteristic that enables creators to share public, one-to-many messages with followers and followers. The characteristic helps each textual content and photographs and is initially obtainable to creators within the U.S.

TikTok added new devoted feeds alongside its For You and Following feeds that allow customers browse movies by classes like  “Sports activities,” “Trend,” “Gaming” and “Meals.”


Snap launches ray tracing technology

Picture Credit: Snap

Snapchat mentioned it’s including ray tracing help to its AR Lens Studio for builders globally. The technical functionality permits for sensible renderings of sunshine and shine on AR artifacts. Snap is partnering with Tiffany & Co. to let customers attempt on and buy bracelets utilizing AR utilizing this new characteristic.


Following Fb, Instagram will shut down its reside purchasing characteristic on March 16, 2023 to as an alternative put its give attention to adverts that enable customers to uncover companies and Outlets on the app. With the change, Instagram customers will not give you the chance to tag merchandise whereas livestreaming — a functionality that has been broadly obtainable to U.S. companies and creators since 2020.
In the meantime, TikTok has extra manufacturers testing out its personal in-app commerce options with TikTok Store within the U.S. Whereas the assessments have been underway since November, TikTok confirmed extra corporations like PacSun, Revolve and Willow Boutique, in addition to magnificence model KimChi Stylish, are actually on board, observe an Ad Age report.

Media and Leisure

Huge information on the earth of YouTube as Susan Wojcicki introduced she’s stepping down as YouTube CEO after 9 years. The exec, Google’s sixteenth worker, has labored on the firm for almost 25 years, having led YouTube by means of the launch of recent merchandise like YouTube Premium YouTube TV, and different creator merchandise and providers, in addition to by means of challenges round moderation points and elevated lawmaker scrutiny of Huge Tech.
Spotify was caught in a backlash after audiobook narrators found a clause that allow Apple use audiobooks from Findaway Voices to prepare its artificial voices. Spotify acquired Findaway in June 2022. Apple launched audiobooks narrated by artificial voices simply final month.
TikTok is launching TikTok Trivia, a livestream trivia quiz sport that has a $500,000 prize pool. The sport can be hosted each day between February 22 and 26 and can be open to customers within the U.S. aged 18 or older. Through the first three days, TikTok Trivia could have two reside periods per day which can be every an hour lengthy. The primary session will start at 8 p.m. ET, and could have 12 questions. Winners cut up a $30,000 reward. The second session is at 9 p.m. ET., and winners cut up a $70,000 reward. After finishing “survival rounds” the final group standing will cut up a $100,000 reward.


China’s video games trade shrank for the primary time in years, in accordance to the nation’s high gaming trade affiliation. The market grossed 265.9 billion yuan ($39 billion) from video gaming gross sales in 2022, a ten.33% drop year-over-year. The decline was due to various components, together with its online game crackdowns, pause on issuing permits and the now lengthier course of to change into compliant.
The Google House app can now control the Xbox Collection S or Collection X, permitting the app to function a contact distant for the console.
The Information reported on how Amazon’s Luna gaming service is dropping steam, noting that its library has shrunk by about 30% since October, and dozens extra titles have been on monitor to exit within the weeks forward.
Roblox is testing a tool that lets gamers use pure language to create or change the looks of their avatars and setting.


Match-owned relationship app Hinge rolled out its new $50/month subscription referred to as HingeX, which provides frequently boosted profiles, getting likes seen first, enhanced suggestions and all the opposite perks of the subsequent tier down, Hinge+ (beforehand Hinge Most popular).
Relationship app Flamme, beforehand generally known as Sparks, launched a brand new AI-powered Ask Me Something software which caters to {couples} trying to introduce new and enjoyable experiences to their lives, and additionally enhance communication of their relationship.
ClassyBuzz rounded up a brand new group of relationship app startups, CandidDitto and IRLY, which can be incorporating video in several methods, together with for profiles, calls and at the same time as a kind of TikTok for relationship.
Courting app installs have fallen, Sensor Tower reported round Valentine’s Day. Obtain ranges returned to these seen in 2019 and 2021, and then dropped additional in 2022, making final yr the bottom variety of installs over the previous 4 years, at the same time as revenues grew, peaking at $374 million in gross income in Q1 2022. Social discovery apps, nevertheless, have been a extra dynamic group with a lot of the high 10 swapping locations from 2021-2022.

state of dating apps us 2023 2

Picture Credit: Sensor Tower

And so forth.

Tile launched a brand new anti-theft mode that requires biometric information, a authorities ID and new Phrases of Service that enable the corporate to share customers’ private information with regulation enforcement. The modifications are meant to function a deterrent to the felony use of trackers for issues like stalking and theft. However the firm says it gained’t await a subpoena to flip over information to police — which can deter client adoption too.

Two-year-old crypto app Bakkt is shutting down on March 16. The corporate had partnered with Starbucks, Greatest Purchase and Selection Motels on its efforts to tie crypto with digital belongings, like reward playing cards, loyalty factors and airline miles.
Google Photographs’ app started crashing after the discharge of iOS 16.3.1, requiring a fast update to repair.
Google rolled out new options together with partial customized tabs and auto-filling passwords to make in-app looking on Android a greater expertise.
Reddit is reportedly trying to IPO later this yr, The Information mentioned, however it can possible be price lower than the $15 billion it had hoped for when it initially filed in Dec. 2021.
Firefox for Android gained an extension that enables customers to hear to articles learn aloud, and others for hiding electronic mail addresses and eradicating monitoring components earlier than sharing a URL.

The Wall Avenue Journal offered an update on the Division of Justice’s antitrust investigation in opposition to Apple, noting the federal government had now added extra litigators to the investigation and elevated its consultations with corporations associated to points at hand in current months.
The Washington Submit featured an interview with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew who’s attempting to persuade U.S. lawmakers that TikTok isn’t a nationwide safety menace.

Singapore-based neobank Aspire raised $100 million in Collection C funding from buyers together with Lightspeed, Sequoia Capital SEA, PayPal, Tencent, LGT Capital Companions, and others. Over the previous 12 months, the startup tripled its annualized TPV to $12 billion and now reaches over 15,000 companies in Southeast Asia.
Triller closed on its acquisition of influencer advertising and marketing agency Julius for an undisclosed sum. New York-based Julius had raised a complete of $23.8 million. It’s unclear how Triller has the funds after coping with multiple lawsuits from UMG, Sony Music and Verzuz in current months.

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