Currency ban: ‘PM Modi apps’ rule Google Play Store
BENGALURU: In the mobile world, Modi apps are all the rage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move has sent several Modi and currency-related apps to the top of app store rankings.
On Friday, three Modi apps were among the top 5 on Google Playstore. The official Narendra Modi app was the most downloaded one. Most of the other Modi apps were created after the demonetisation announcement on November 8, and are propaganda apps built by independent developers to cash in on the national sentiment and earn revenues through in-app advertisements. Most of these apps are free and some of these have seen more than one lakh downloads.
The official Narendra Modi app has seen more than a million downloads and the official developer is the BJP. The app has a news feed tom-tomming the government’s achievements. It has seen increased traction since the demonetisation, and especially after Modi commissioned an in-app survey to get people’s opinion on demonetisation. The survey saw more than a lakh participating.
There are eight different Modi apps among the top 40. Flipkart and Amazon are among the most downloaded apps on Playstore, but on Friday, these were at No. 41 and 30 respectively. Among the top 20 trending apps on Friday, nine were Modi apps. To rank trending apps, Google looks at not just downloads but also metrics like feedback, ratings and content.
Most of the apps had the key words Note and Modi in their names, indicating that the developers wished to exploit the publicity from demonetisation. A search for Narendra Modi in Google Playstore throws up more than 200 results — from demonetisation to Modi games, Modi quotes, Modi speeches, and Modi wallpapers.
The second and the fifth placed apps, called Modi Keynote and Modi Ki Note, respectively, have more than a lakh downloads each. When a user scans anything, the apps will show Modi’s demonetization speech of November 8. The apps have ratings of more than 3 on 5, but have scathing comments about how useless they are.
The fifth placed Modi Ki Note app developer is an entity called RedMango Apps. The other apps from the developer are Find ATM and Find Cash, indicating that the developer is looking to cash in on popular themes of the month. The most recent comments from users on Modi Ki Note called the app ‘hoax’, ‘fake’, ‘stupid’ and ‘waste of time’.
In Apple’s Appstore, the top downloaded free app on Friday was Paytm, followed by the official Narendra Modi app. iPhones and iPads represent less than 2% of the overall app ecosystem in India. Paytm has been a big beneficiary of demonetization, since the latter is driving people towards digital payments. In Google Playstore, it was at No. 13 on Friday.