- Productivity App
- $100,000+ estimated monthly revenue
- Published November 13, 2023 by Niall Doherty
- Contributor: Fardeen Khan
Forest is a productivity app that incentivizes users to avoid their phones through a gamified system.
You basically open the app and plant a virtual tree 🌳 which grows while you focus on a task. If you then stay off your phone for the duration of the timer, the tree fully matures.
But if you exit the app to use your phone, the tree withers and dies 😩
Top productivity app in 136 countries. More than 2 million satisfied paying users.
Last month’s revenue estimates by SensorTower (free account required) 👇
I know, those download numbers don’t exactly vibe with the revenue numbers.
iOS customers will need to pay [$3.99] if they want to download the app which comes with premium features, while Android users can install it for free but they will receive the basic version. For more advanced options they will have to make in – app purchases.
SensorTower’s estimates aren’t perfect, of course, but I reckon it’s still safe to say that Forest is pulling in around $100,000 in monthly revenue 🤯
Some of that revenue goes towards planting real trees, 2 million and counting…
“Forest team partners with a real-tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees on Earth. When our users spend virtual coins they earn in Forest on planting real trees, Forest team donates to our partner and creates planting orders.” (source)
Much of Forest’s success can be attributed to its use of gamification strategies 🎮
Rabani Kharbanda wrote in 2021…
I credit [the app’s] success to effective use of gamification psychology. The app is fun to use because it appeals to certain Core Drives within us that motivate us towards certain activities.
Using something called the Octalysis Gamification framework, he goes on to break down the different features of the app that make it so appealing 😍
Core Driver 5: Social Influence and Relatedness
You can invite friends and family members to the app. If any one of you exit the app when the timer is running, then the tree will automatically die. This shared experience helps people bond, at the same time drives competition. If you do succeed at not opening using your phone, while your friends fail, you get their envy and respect.
Might be worth giving this app a try yourself if you struggle to stay focused.
Also, if you’re a 90’s kid like me, Forest might remind you of Tamagotchi. It’s essentially the same thing, except with a Tamagotchi you were looking after a virtual pet 🐶 instead of a virtual tree 🌳
And Forest tied their game to productivity, so it became a useful and enduring tool.
Always interesting to see old ideas succeeding in new ways.
Could some old tech from your childhood be the next big thing? 🤔
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