iOS news app installations surge 170% for U.S. Presidential inauguration

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What you need to know

  • Installations of news apps on iOS rose by 170% in the run-up to the Presidential Inauguration.

A new report says that installations of news apps in the run-up to the Presidential election surged by some 170%.

From Sensor Tower:

Mobile users in the United States turned to their phones and tablets to follow a mostly virtual Inauguration Day, propelling apps from news outlets and aggregators up the Apple App Store charts, Sensor Tower App Intelligence data reveals. Among all free iPhone apps on the U.S. App Store for Wednesday, CNN achieved the highest rank for a news app, climbing 530 positions to end the day at No. 41.The news aggregator News Break was the second highest ranked app of this type on Inauguration Day, rising 13 positions to reach No. 65. Rounding out the top three, Newsmax climbed 43 spots to end the day at No. 108.

Sensor Tower data purportedly shows that CNN saw approximately 27,000 installs on January 20, 170% more than the day before. Likewise, News Break and Newsmax saw their installs climb 5% and 14% on the same day respectively.

A similar trend was reportedly spotted on Election Day 2020, from the report:

News apps also saw a surge of first-time U.S. installs on Election Day 2020. At the time, CNN climbed 587 spots to end the day at No. 80 overall, while News Break rose from No. 111 to No. 103. Although Fox News ranked the highest among such apps on Election Day at No. 63 overall, it didn't see the same degree of boost on Inauguration Day. Yesterday, it climbed 548 positions to reach No. 469 overall on the U.S. App Store, 406 places lower than Election Day.

This surge in 2020 did not match the greater adoption in 2016, which saw CNN climbed to 26 in the App Store charts and Fox news to number 50. The 2017 inauguration also seems to have drawn more news app downloads.

In the U.S. in 2020, News Break was the most popular app, installed an estimated 23.7 million times on iOS and Android collectively. News Break also leads the pack for downloads in January of 2021.

You can read the full report here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9