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iMessage store exploded on launch, but now shows signs of slowing

The iMessage App Store that launched alongside iOS 10 saw an initial explosion of growth when it arrived last September, but developers may be losing interest, new figures show.

So far, nearly 5,000 apps have either added or launched with iMessage compatibility according to our App Intelligence data—a figure that equals the number of iOS apps released during the first year of the App Store back in 2008,” said data analysts SensorTower. “But while the number of apps released for iOS continued to grow over time, we’re already seeing signs that the initial rush of excitement over iMessage apps is fading among developers.”

The iMessage App Store allows iPhone and iPad users to interact with other users on similar devices through more than just text. It allows app developers to provide a variety of plug-in like apps.

Mostly, these have taken the form of stickers that can be sent to other users via iMessage, but some of the more innovative users have included apps for sending money to another individual easily via iMessage. There’s also a number of games extensions. But, ultimately, the excitement has waned. Perhaps due to a lack of quality apps, or an influx of poor quality apps. A major drawback is also down to the fact the apps generally need to be in place on the user’s and the recipient’s devices.

In a way, the slowing growth makes sense – the concept of an App Store is embedded in a way that didn’t exist back when Apple first launched its central App Store. Slowing growth also makes sense. Developers will always wish to jump on new Apple technology due to the potential userbase, but at the start of a project like this, it’s not entirely certain how successful it may be, or indeed, the scope of its functionality.

A quick glance at the store, particularly after launch saw the bar set extremely low for paid-for apps, with most being offered for nothing.

Apple has also gone fairly quiet on the iMessage App Store since it was launched, but recently unveiled a new advertising campaign that highlighted sticker packs that can be used in iMessage.

Watch the video here.

But maybe some of the slowing adoption is down to a lack of information on how to install or use the apps. After all, it’s quite easy to ignore the iMessage App Store entirely. However, if you fancy getting to know the store and all the useful features it can bring to the Message app, allow us to help you with the following guide:

Apps for iMessage: A giant guide to Apple’s iMessages App Store – what’s in it, and how to use it