Civil unrest due to George Floyd's nationwide protests led Twitter to record new installations this week. This comes from data from two App Store intelligence agencies, Apptopia and Sensor Tower. While companies' exact results differed in terms of the total number of new downloads or records, companies agreed that Twitter's app had the greatest week ever in the world.
The use of Twitter is increasing due to the immediacy of the message exchange on its platform. This was particularly in demand in the George Floyd protests in the U.S., as protesters used Twitter to share live images and videos of the demonstrations, fires and looting, police brutality, and more. In the meantime, non-protesters have downloaded the app to follow events directly and get unfiltered, breaking news.
According to data from Sensor Tower, just over a million installations were carried out on Twitter on Monday and around 1 million new installations on Tuesday. Monday was the day most of the one-day installations had been taking place since at least January 1, 2014, when the company started recording the app. US installations peaked at a four-year high this week. Sensor Tower estimates that Twitter installs declined somewhat on Wednesday, causing the app to be slightly lower in the App Store's global charts.
Apptopia, on the other hand, found that Twitter surpassed its installation record on Wednesday with 677,000 downloads worldwide. This included an almost record-breaking number of downloads of 140,000 installations in the United States, with a large number of installations coming from international markets, including the UK, India, Brazil and Mexico. However, this US download count was the second highest daily installation count for the U.S. during Twitter's lifetime.
The truth between the different numbers of these two companies is probably somewhere in the middle. The sensor tower routinely comes in with higher numbers from Apptopia. However, from a broader perspective, the two companies tend to see the same trends. In the case of this week, both point to a breakout week for the download growth of Twitter's mobile apps.
While it may seem strange that Twitter has seen more installations in markets outside of the U.S., this is an indication that the world is watching these events. But it may also be a perfect storm for Twitter demand, as the unrest is not the only driver for international installations.
Many countries are also involved in the COVID 19 pandemic, with Brazil currently being particularly affected. This could arouse further increased interest in the app due to the message-oriented character.
Not only did Apptopia break the download numbers, it also found that yesterday was a record for daily active Twitter users in the US when around 40 million people in the US logged into the app.
For comparison, Twitter reported that its app had 31 million “monetizable” daily active users (mDAUs) in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2019, which grew to 33 million in the first quarter of 2020. An mDAU is not exactly the same metric as an active daily user. Rather, it is a metric that Twitter invented to count the number of signed-in users on its platforms who can place ads. However, this is now the only way Twitter reports its user data, so this is the closest comparison that can be offered.
It remains to be seen to what extent these peaks will affect installation and use on Twitter in the longer term, and we will only know the details when Twitter publishes its updated key figures in the next quarterly results.