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STORE INTELLIGENCE · RANDY NELSON · SEPTEMBER 2016

iMessage App Store Already Tops 400 Apps and 1,250 Sticker Packs

Here's a breakdown of how many iMessage apps there are by category one week after launch.

iMessage App Store Hero Image

Since its official launch on September 13 as part of iOS 10, Apple's new iMessage App Store has become home to 402 apps worldwide, along with an additional 1,251 sticker packs. In this first look at the size of the fledgling in-app store, we break down the currently available iMessage apps by category and analyze sticker pack pricing so far.

iMessage Apps by Category

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple pitched iMessage apps as its means for transforming the ubiquitous messenger into a nexus for communication, whether it be chatting with friends, booking flights, or planning a night out. But just as the App Store was almost immediately upon its launch in 2008, the iMessage App Store has already been dominated by games. In the chart below, you can see the breakdown of all 402 iMessage enabled apps as of September 22, lead by 91 games—almost 2.5 times as many as the second-largest category, Entertainment.

iMessage Apps by Category Chart

The remainder of the top five categories are much more closely matched, with Entertainment at 39 apps, Utilities at 31, Productivity at 25, and Social Networking at 23. Some of the smallest categories, such as Medical at one app or books at four, wouldn't be expected to have much representation—at least not this close to launch—but the lack of iMessage enabled News apps, at just six, is a bit surprising.

iMessage Stickers: Paid vs. Free

For the second part of our initial look at the iMessage App Store, we tackled the topic of stickers—one of its most heavily promoted new features. We discovered that the new Stickers category already contains 1,251 packs worldwide. Of these, 944 are premium (paid) and the remaining 307 are free.

Free vs. Paid iMessage Stickers Chart

In terms of pricing, 86 percent of the 944 premium sticker packs are being offered at the lowest App Store pricing tier of $0.99, while 12 percent are at $1.99, 1 percent are at $2.99, and less than 1 percent—one app—is priced at $3.99, as the histogram below shows.

iMessage Sticker Pack Pricing Histogram

Just one week in, there are nearly as many iMessage enabled apps as there were apps of any kind on the App Store when it launched in 2008. (There were 500, in case you'd forgotten, and there will be about 10,000 times as many before we know it). With stickers, the number of available options may already be making discovery challenging within the iMessage App Store—although user complaints we've seen so far have focused more on its confusing interface than an overwhelming number of choices.

We'll have additional analysis of the effect iMessage interoperability is having on apps soon.


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Randy Nelson

Written by: Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights

Date: September 2016