This was first published April 4, in our weekly newsletter Apptopia Insight. To receive insights like this weekly, sign up here.

  • Travel downloads remain weak – year-over-year download growth is negative and slowed to -13% in March. Downloads for OTA apps are down 9% in March – a stable level throughout 1Q.
  • Real estate/Autos fall – real estate search portal apps fell to -24% YoY and autos/auto dealers fell to -19% YoY, both slowing significantly in March.
  • QSR apps growing – downloads of QSR/restaurant apps stand out on the positive side, with downloads up +8% YoY and gaining momentum in 1Q.

Mobile macro trends

Travel – Travel apps have been weak and negative YoY for 6 months, with a slowdown in 1Q. March downloads are -13% YoY.  All travel subsectors are negative YoY – OTAs are -9% YoY in March but around that level throughout the quarter (ABNB remains positive at +27%). Airlines are -11% YoY and also stable in the quarter. Cruise lines decelerated to -27% YoY (RCL -30%) and Hotels decelerated to -26% YoY (MAR -15%).  

Real estate/Autos – Large consumer sectors Real estate and Autos were weak in 1Q, with a leg down in March. Real estate search portals fell, led by Z (-22% YoY) and RDFN (-40% YoY). Auto dealers were also weak with CVNA, CARS, KMX all negative/decelerating in March.  

QSRs – QSR apps were positive in 1Q and trended up throughout the quarter to +8% YoY in March. Standouts in the sector include WEN (+177% YoY), QSR (+31% YoY), and DPZ (+34% YoY). Smaller QSRs also outperformed while the largest QSRs are negative YoY (MCD -19% YoY, CMG -22% YoY) – potentially representing a catch up in digital engagement with customers. 

Round of additional sectors – Dating app downloads slowed in March to -6% YoY in the US, with both BMBL and MTCH negative. Social media apps are up significantly in 1Q, but most of this is driven by a Facebook/META outage in March that caused a spike in downloads as users were forced to log back in to accounts, as well as Threads downloads remaining strong. Sportsbooks apps accelerated in March driven by North Carolina launch.  

Questions on the underlying data included in this analysis?