Lapse, a photo-sharing app that growth hacked its way to the top of the App Store earlier this year is losing steam. The app jumped from No. 118 Overall to reach No. 1 on the U.S. App Store in September. However, growth hacks alone cannot sustain an app, a new report shows. Throughout this month and the last, Lapse’s downloads have started to drop and have now fallen as far as 70% down from their October peak. The data comes from app intelligence firm Appfigures, indicating that growth hacking your way to the top of the App Store isn’t a formula for ongoing success unless your product is capable of retaining its new users over the long term. Originally launched in 2021, co-founders (and brothers) Dan and Ben Silvertown said they built Lapse with the idea of recreating the feel of a point-and-shoot camera, where users would take pictures but viewing the photos was delayed. However, users were using Lapse as more of a photo journal, so they pivoted to address this need. With TikTok ads and its invite mechanism fueling growth, Lapse’s pivot was not always well-received. Appfigures notes that Lapse had started the month of September with just 8,000 downloads per day, but, by month-end, had seen daily downloads of 210,000 per day. By October, daily downloads grew to a peak of 218,000 in a single day. While Lapse is gaining new installs, its downloads dropped last week to 63,000 per day this past week, down 70% from its peak. This trend seems difficult for newcomers in the social or social photo app space to maintain their momentum, no matter how quickly they’ve climbed their way to the top of the App Store. Meanwhile, despite the buzz around ID by Amo — a quirky new app that combines the collage-making abilities of something like Pinterest’s Shuffles with a social network — the same trend may already be underway. ID, which was also pushing users to invite friends in order to get in, has seen its installs declining post-launch as well. More to come on that one in time…

 

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