Robinhood and other trading apps shoot to the top of app stores

Key Points
  • Investing and finance apps like Robinhood and Coinbase surged in Apple and Google's app store rankings.
  • It's one of the strongest signals yet the retail investing boom has gone mainstream.
  • The app stores are usually dominated by social media and entertainment apps.
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The retail investing boom this week has taken over Apple and Google's app stores.

It's hard to stress just how unusual this is. In normal times, app store rankings are dominated by social and entertainment apps: think YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Disney+ and so on.

First, here's a look at the app store rankings for Android (left) and iPhone (right) as of Friday morning in the U.S.:

Investment Apps Robinhood, WeBull, Cash App
Google Play

Now for a quick explanation on how app store rankings work. Think of the rankings as a snapshot in time. They reflect the momentum in downloads of a given app, not necessarily the total number of downloads. For example, apps like Amazon Alexa and Fitbit typically see big jumps on Christmas as people activate their new Echo speakers and fitness trackers.

The jump in the rankings for financial apps represents a massive interest among the general population in retail investing through apps like Robinhood or Webull. Reddit's jump is due to the popularity of the forum Wall Street Bets, where the GameStop boom began. Coinbase is a popular app for buying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

You get the idea.

This is one of the best signs we have yet that the retail boom has gone mainstream.

And if you want to see how quickly these apps jumped in the rankings, take a look at this data from Sensor Tower, a firm that tracks app downloads:

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