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A year after Pokémon Go’s meteoric rise, no other app launch has come close

It really was that special.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

That feeling that everyone was suddenly playing Pokémon Go when it launched a little more than a year ago? That wasn’t just a feeling. Its massive launch and rise was by far the biggest in the past year, and no other apps have come close, according to app store data estimates.

Just three weeks after it launched last July, Pokémon hit a high of more 90 million downloads in one week, according to data from app measurement company Priori Data. Recently, weekly downloads have declined to just more than a million, according to Priori, which estimates downloads using Google and Apple app store rank and data provided by partners.

But it’s easily the biggest launch of the past year. For comparison, Nintendo’s Super Mario Run, its long-awaited first iPhone game, peaked at around 44 million downloads in its best week, according to Priori, and then spiked again this spring, when it launched on Android. Other “big” launches are barely a fraction of Pokémon Go’s.

Here, we’ve compared those launches to the steady download beat of Facebook, the world’s all-time top mobile app, which gets about 13 million downloads a week, according to Priori, and is likely approaching two billion active mobile users.

Pokémon app compared with Facebook

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