Posted February 9, 2023

A few weeks ago, Apple released a stunning statistic: they’ve paid developers over $320B — yes, billion! — since the launch of the App Store in 2008, highlighting the cast opportunity in the marketplace.

And around the same time, a16z Consumer Partner, Olivia Moore, compiled a list of the top apps across the US app store throughout 2022.

In this episode, you’ll get to hear which apps made it to the top and what they have in common. Hint: the big winners were in social, but perhaps a new wave of social apps!

We also get the scoop on what it really takes to not just hit #1, but stay there. This episode highlights numerous surprising examples ranging from a new-age Beanie Baby app, a viral talking dog, an app from 2012 that finally broke the top 10, and the Chinese app that’s been at #1 for a majority of 2023, and it’s not TIkTok!

There are endless learnings about how new founders can take advantage of these opportunities.

Show Notes

01:51 – Top apps in 2022

03:32 – A new era of social?

07:22 – Hitting #1

09:30 – Staying on top

11:20 – Building a sticky product

13:46 – Growing an app in 2023

15:35 – User-generated growth

17:48 – 2022 category winners

20:39 – Anonymous social

22:24 – Early monetization

26:30 – Monetization trends

31:07 – Leveraging platform shifts

35:26 – Surprising hits

37:50 – Looking toward 2023

39:38 – Invisible AI products

41:46 – Limiting virality

45:13 – Vertical social networks

48:37 – When digital goes physical

51:44 – TikTok growth

53:27 – Geographic trends

56:18 – A decade old app

1:00:25 – App challenge

More About This Podcast

The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.

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