Wordle is the daily, browser-only word game we can’t get enough of, so it’s not surprising that Wordle copycats have been sprouting up in the App Store. Those copycats aren’t the first to use that name, however. Developer Steven Cravotta actually used “wordle” first — five years ago. Now, he’s using his app’s surprise popularity to help others.
Cravotta built his Wordle when he was 18, as he wrote in a Twitter thread explaining the coincidence. He stopped promoting and updating it months later, after topping 100,000 downloads, because it hadn’t taken off. In the four years since, the app averaged merely one or two downloads per week — until last week.
“I logged into my dashboard and was SHOOK at what I saw,” he said.
Cravotta first assumed bots were behind the spike, but then googled to find out about the current Wordle craze. Now, Cravotta’s Wordle has gotten 200,000 downloads in the last week and it’s “not even slowing down yet,” he said.
The developer, whose current app Puff Count helps users quit vaping, reached out to Wordle founder Josh Wardle the two agreed to donate proceeds to Boost! West Oakland, a children’s tutoring and mentoring program in the San Francisco-adjacent city.
“Very excited to support such an amazing program that focuses on literacy for youth,” Cravotta said on Twitter. “We feel the money will make a real impact here!”