Twitter’s last earnings call was a disaster, as the company reported weak user growth, lower than expected revenue, and everyone got the nagging feeling that even Twitter’s core users are losing interest the platform.
But before you write off Twitter completely, it’s worth looking at these two charts, which show download rank history in the App Store for Meerkat and Periscope, the two hot live video streaming apps. The charts show that Twitter can be unusually powerful as a platform for promoting an app.
Every day, app developers face a Catch-22: There are millions of apps in the app stores, but people only tend to see the top 10 or so in the app store rankings. You can’t climb the list without already being on the list. The battle between Periscope and Meerkat shows that Twitter support could make all the difference in terms of your app being a huge hit on people’s phones, or sinking without trace in the rankings.
Meerkat and Periscope launched at roughly the same time and do roughly the same thing. The difference between them is that Twitter owns Periscope, and supports it, whereas Twitter has retracted integration for Meerkat (meaning the company can’t use your Twitter account for certain tasks, like finding new friends to follow on Meerkat). After several weeks on the market, here is the effect of Twitter’s support on both apps, according to app data company App Annie.
First, Meerkat, which launched a little before Periscope:
Meerkat is at No. 60 in the rankings — not bad when there are millions of other apps to choose from.
Now look at Periscope:
It’s No.9 on App Annie’s chart — way ahead of Meerkat. On iPhone at least, Periscope is winning this war. No.9 is the equivalent of massive viral success.
Those charts alone would appear to make a compelling case that if Twitter gets behind an app, it can propel it to global success. Given that app development is forecast to be a $US45 billion business this year, that will not go unnoticed in the industry.
Periscope has yet to launch on Android so Meerkat has that platform all to itself. And here is a bonus chart on that issue.
Here is Meerkat on Android:
Meerkat is at No.37 on the Android chart, well ahead of its ranking on iOS. If Periscope repeats the same pattern when it launches on Android, climbing ahead of Meerkat, then app developers may be forced to look again at Twitter despite its problems.