The Elon Musk Effect: Fasting App ‘Zero’ Rockets Up U.S. Top Charts

The Elon Musk Effect is real, folks. With just two tweets, the mercurial ‘Technoking’ of Tesla turned the intermittent fasting app ‘Zero’ into an overnight sensation.

Elon Musk is many things. A 21st century industrialist, a space cowboy, a memelord, and now, it seems, a mobile app king maker.

Indeed, Musk took to Twitter last week to announce some changes to his fitness routine. On the advice of a good friend, the billionaire wrote, he’s been fasting periodically and feels healthier. Musk then followed up with a major endorsement, calling the intermittent fasting app Zeroquite good.”

Turns out, those two words were enough to elevate the app to new heights. See if you can spot the moment Musk hit ‘Tweet’…


Zero Surpasses 60,000 Daily Downloads

This chart depicts daily global downloads for the iOS (blue) and Android (red) versions of Zero between January 1st, 2022 and September 6th, 2022.

These apps have combined for 981,133 downloads in 2022. However, 190,995 of these came after August 28th, the day Elon Musk publicly championed Zero on Twitter. That’s nearly 20% of Zero’s total 2022 performance in just over a week.

Put another way, before Musk’s endorsement, Zero was generating between 3,000 and 4,000 daily downloads (2,000 - 3,000 daily iOS downloads, 800 - 900 daily Android downloads). But following August 28th, daily downloads rocketed past the 60,000 mark, smashing Zero’s previous records.


Zero Rockets Up U.S. Top Charts

It suffices to say that Musk’s endorsement has been a boon for Zero; and the category-specific top charts on Google Play and the Apple App Store bear this out.

Historically, the iOS (blue) version of Zero has earned modest rankings among “Health & Fitness” apps, typically fluctuating between 45th and 75th in the United States. However, on August 29th, the app exploded into the top 10, placing 2nd in the same category.

The Android (red) version of Zero experienced a similar ascent. While it typically ranks outside the top 200 “Health & Fitness” apps in the United States, the app immediately found itself in the top 20 in the wake of Elon Musk’s Twitter endorsement.

Not too shabby.


Final Thoughts

So, yes. The Elon Musk Effect is real. If he tweets about something, people will flock to it in droves. (See also: Dogecoin).

Still, whether his endorsements have staying power ultimately depends on the parties he endorses. Curious Twitter followers may rush to join the fun initially, but there’s no guarantee they’ll stick around for the long haul.

As you can see in the charts above, downloads for Zero have already waned significantly. That doesn’t mean they’re back to where they started, of course. It just means that even really good publicity can’t create demand for a service out of whole cloth. Musk’s endorsement may have helped Zero win users from competitors, but it’s not clear he created many new intermittent fasters.


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