App Store’s Top Free App Right Now? A Fidget Spinner, Of Course

Virtual fidget spinners may defeat purpose of the toy, but what a great way to monetize the latest fad

Volkan Kutlubay
May 25, 2017 at 12:36 PM ET

Fidget spinners, the stress-relieving toys that came out of nowhere, are the biggest craze in our culture right now. They’re in every classroom (unless they got banned), corner store, and now, they’re also the biggest hit in Apple’s app store. There’s even already a virtual reality version.

The app Fidget Spinner by Ketchapp is currently the No. 1 free app in the App Store. It works by displaying a fidget spinner on the screen that users swipe to spin. The more you spin, the more virtual coins you can collect to unlock new, apparently more stylish spinners.

In reality, the app is just a monetizing machine of the latest fad. Every time you spin you’ll collect coins, but you can also watch full-length ads that appear after several games to collect more coins. There’s also ads at the bottom of the screen throughout the entire gameplay — to remove them costs $2.99 for an upgrade.

Not only is the app bad because of it’s low quality, but it’s also defeating the higher purpose of the toy. Before they went viral, the plastic wheel toys were a physical object used to help people who have trouble focusing, including those with anxiety, autism, or ADHD). Swiping on a screen isn’t quite the same as holding an object in your hands and may only strengthen people’s screen addictions.

Fidget Spinner is currently more popular than Bitmoji, Snapchat, YouTube, and all of Facebook’s apps. It landed at No. 1 this week, but it’ll mostly like go away as soon as the fad dies down. The app is basically just a waste of memory, battery, time, and money — if you decide to purchase it.

Oh, and if for reason you do like the idea of a digitized spinner, then you might also want to try to relieve some stress in virtual reality. Because of course, there’s already a way for you to play with a fidget spinner using an HTC vive headset.