Six months after its launch, Apple’s iMessage Store – the in-app catalogue of stickers and add-ons for iOS’ native messaging app – now has nearly 5k apps available.

That’s according to research firm Sensor Tower, which notes that this figure equals the number of iOS apps during the first year of the App Store after its launch in 2008.

That isn’t a hugely-illuminating comparison though: the apps landscape now is very different to then, in terms of iPhone ownership and the appetite for apps.

In fact, Sensor Tower’s figures point to something else: a slowdown in the number of new iMessage apps, with the total more than doubling month-on-month last October and November, but with that rate of growth dwindling to 9% in February.

25.9% of current iMessage apps are games, while 17.4% fall into the ‘entertainment’ category. Just 1.4% are classed as ‘music’, although that’s misleading since many music-related iMessage apps are classed as entertainment: the Rolling Stones sticker pack, for example.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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