App Sensation Poparazzi Is Cooling Off but Don’t Count It Out Yet

Variety Intelligence Platform

Things have cooled down for social photo-sharing app Poparazzi after the app experienced a breakout debut week in late May.  

That’s what’s suggested by data provided to Variety Intelligence Platform by Sensor Tower, which found that global downloads of Poparazzi respectively fell by 54%, 58% and 35% during its second, third, and fourth week on the App Store. 

Downloads of Poparazzi during its seventh week out were up 60% compared to the week prior, though recent daily download figures of the app have still been nowhere near where they stood during the app's first week out. 

The tapering off in downloads came after Poparazzi notched nearly 1.7 million downloads during its first week and shot to the top of the App Store rankings upon debuting. As of July 18, Poparazzi was iOS-only, though it was available for pre-register on Google Play.

Poparazzi was still among the top 30-most downloaded free apps of the photo & video category as of July 11. But the app fell much further in the overall ranking and was the App Store’s 738th most-downloaded U.S. app overall as of that date. 

Poparazzi’s drop in downloads since its first week out probably isn’t the growth trajectory founders Alex and Austen Ma had hoped for. But it’s too soon to deem the app a dud because downloads have tapered off.  

It's not unusual to see an app's installs even out after a surge in adoption, especially with an app like Poparazzi that gained viral popularity at launch, Sensor Tower told VIP. 

For instance, photo sharing app Dispo (which launched as David’s Disposable) found quick success upon launching in late December 2019. The app, co-founded by YouTuber David Dobrik (who cut ties with the app amid the Vlog Squad controversy), had its daily downloads figure top 200,000 at one point and briefly ranked as the App Store’s no. 1 overall free app in the U.S. 

That was before downloads of Dispo steadily dropped and hovered around 10,000 toward the end of its first month out.  

But even if it is common for an app’s installs to taper off after a surge, it seems reasonable to expect that Poparazzi’s downloads would surge again in June as big states reopened further. For example, capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements in New York and California were lifted on June 15. 

These reopenings create more opportunities for friends to meet up at bars and restaurants to act as their friends’ paparazzi. 

Poparazzi might benefit from having the option of letting users geotag their pops in the same way that Instagram users can geotag photo and video posts. The ability to geotag on Poparazzi could lead to certain areas becoming viral Poparazzi hot spots — not in the sense of photo shoot destinations (the antithesis of Poparazzi’s goal) but go-to hangout areas in certain states. 

Pops done in these Poparazzi hot spots could eventually be shared to Instagram (where they would have the Poparazzi watermark), and that could drive more users to Poparazzi.  

Of course, it’s still early days for Poparazzi. Expanding to Android devices will likely lead to another wave of adoption (just look at what happened with Clubhouse), and new Android Poparazzi users could lead to more pops being taken that increases engagement among iOS users.