May 26, 2022

The Russian App Store has lost 6,982 mobile apps since the invasion of Ukraine began, according to data shared by analytics firm Censor with gaming-updates, as several companies have now downloaded Apple’s iPhone and iPad app stores in the country. games. Tower.

To date, these applications have been downloaded in Russia about 218 million times, which is a total of more than 6.6 billion during their existence of 6.6 billion. Amid massive launches, apps from several major tech companies continue to rank high on the Russian App Store, although VPN apps currently top the list.

While Apple regularly removes old and abandoned apps from the App Store, the post-invasion removal of apps from the App Store in Russia (February 24 to March 14) has reduced the number of apps removed from the App Store by 105% compared to the previous period. which indicates growth. Two weeks of February 2022 (from 1 to 14 February). In the same period, only 3,404 apps were removed from the Russian App Store, a figure that matches the number of apps pulled from the Apple App Store in other markets, including the US, where 3,422 apps were removed. These pre-invasion app removals were likely due to Apple’s ongoing cleanup efforts, Sensor Tower said.

Russia is not the only country that has suffered in this way. Several publishers have also removed their apps and games from app stores in Russia’s neighboring and allied Belarus. The country has lost 5,900 apps since the invasion began, up 73% from the 3,418 apps removed between Feb. 1 and Feb. 14.

By comparison, other app markets saw a slight increase in app removals, which may also be due to Apple’s efforts to maintain the App Store.

image credit: Sensor tower

As a result of Russia’s decision to go to war against Ukraine, the country is cut off from the world economy as the US and its allies impose coordinated, wide-ranging economic sanctions. Some of the world’s most famous brands, such as McDonald’s, Apple, Microsoft, Disney, IKEA, H&M, Adidas and Starbucks, as well as major companies including payment giants Visa, Mastercard and Amex, have ceased operations in Russia. Another.

In some cases, the removal of applications from the Russian App Store is associated with the departure of major brands. For example, Coca-Cola removed its loyalty and rewards iOS app from the Russian App Store because the company recently committed to suspending operations in Russia. Retailers such as H&M and American Eagle Outfitters have also removed apps from the Ebates Shop Style shopping platform.

As for sports, the NFL, NBA, WWE and Eurosport apps disappeared from the Russian App Store after the invasion. The health apps MyFitnessPal, Kaiser Permanente, and several smaller fitness, meditation, and yoga apps have also disappeared. Of these, MyFitnessPal has been quite popular in Russia, with about 4.2 million installs to date, including installs for both iOS and Android.

Mobile gaming giants are leaving Russia

Games are the largest category of deletions in Russia and represent some of the largest deletions. The Russian App Store has lost a number of top games to publishers including Zynga, Supercell, Take-Two (Rockstar Games) and others, many of which have publicly announced their closure.

For example, Supercell tweeted on March 9th. that in response to the ongoing war, “new downloads will be stopped and access for existing players will be suspended.”I With the next update. The company’s games pulled from the App Store in Russia include Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Hay Day. These are important outputs – for example, Clash of Clans in Russia alone has currently been installed 36 million times on both iOS and Android.

Rockstar Games has acquired, among other things, more than half a dozen games from the Grand Theft Auto series. Its parent company, Take-Two, announced its intention to leave Russia on March 7, noting that it was following developments in Ukraine with “concern and sadness.” He stated that he would stop new sales, installation and marketing in both Russia and Belarus.

Meanwhile, on March 8, Zynga said it was monitoring incidents in Ukraine with “great concern” and would exclude Russia and Belarus and donate to aid organizations. Following the acquisition of Rolex Games, the publisher has removed dozens of its casual games from the App Store in these countries, including major titles such as FarmVille 3, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Empires & Puzzles, Solitaire, Zynga Poker and others. .Ha. 2020.

Netflix also made good on its promise to leave Russia by removing its streaming app in the country. The dating apps Bumble and Badoo have also disappeared. Bumble (the parent company of Badoo) announced on March 8 in Q4 2021 reports that it will leave the app stores in Russia and Belarus. Combined sales in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus accounted for about 2.8% of Bumble’s total annual sales in 2021, according to the company.

Other notable withdrawals from the Russian app store include Amazon’s IMDb, travel app Trivago, The Weather Channel (IBM), Playtica, and more. big fishing (Talk), Healy Dating App, Citizen, DAZN Sports Live Streaming, AllTrails and Google Home. (AllTrails has not yet issued a public statement, but told gaming-updates that services in Russia are currently on indefinite suspension. We support the people of Ukraine and refuse to deal with Russia in this tragic payroll war,” the company said. )

Games, Productivity, Utilities, Music, Business, Education and Health are among the most frequently removed apps from the Russian App Store by category. By comparison, more than 860 games were removed from the affected App Store, including in Russia, Belarus and, to a lesser extent, Ukraine. (However, only a few were later drawn.)

Apps from the tech giant continue to top the charts

However, at the moment, not all technology giants have completely abandoned the Russian App Store.

On March 4, Microsoft announced that it was phasing out all new sales of products and services in Russia and has since removed apps such as Solitaire, Majong, Verdament and specifically Minecraft from the Russian App Store. But Microsoft Word, Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and Outlook are still at the top of the productivity rankings in Russia, according to Sensor Tower. (See below).

image credit: sensor tower. Top list of productivity apps in the Russian App Store as of March 15, 2022

Microsoft is not alone. Google has taken several actions against Russia, including suspending its advertising activities in the country, but its productivity apps are still available in Russia. Currently, Google Docs, Spreadsheet, Slides, Assistant, Calendar, Drive, One and Keep are at the top of the list of the best productivity apps.

Adobe also promised to leave Russia on March 4, saying it would stop “all new sales of Adobe products and services” in Russia “immediately.” He also said that he would stop access to Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Document Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud for all Russian state media and promised to allocate funds for refugee and humanitarian assistance.

Adobe has since removed some of its apps from the Russian App Store, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but others are available for download as of this writing.

Microsoft, Google and Adobe did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Social Apps Still Rank High Despite Obstacles

At the moment, the Russian top list of the general App Store contains applications that no longer work or whose content is severely limited.

Instagram was blocked in Russia on Monday, affecting 80 million users. But the app is still ranked 34th in the country because it hasn’t been removed from the App Store. (This means that users can still download the app, but probably won’t be able to access the service except through a VPN). Russia has also banned other social networks including Facebook and Twitter, while TikTok has suspended the ability for users to livestream and post new content in Russia and blocked all non-Russian content.

But TikTok still ranks 18th in the Russian App Store, followed by YouTube at 27th. YouTube, like other platforms, banned Russian state media and blocked ads and payments.

But VPNs dominate the top lists of the Russian App Store

The downgrading of these social apps can only be partly attributed to restrictions and limitations. Another factor is VPN apps, which now dominate the top lists.

image credit: sensor tower

According to Sensor Tower, the top 10 VPN apps collectively reached 4.2 million installs from February 24 to March 13, up 2286% from the previous period, when the top 10 apps reached nearly 176,000 installs. The company noted that apps like Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 and Psiphon also made it into the top 10, although the app called 1.1.1.1 is not just a VPN; It advertises privacy and security, which Russian users might like at the moment.

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