GasBuddy, an app for finding the closest gas stations and cheapest prices, has reached the No. 2 spot in the App Store as Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida.
After receiving an endorsement from Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday, the app climbed 22 spots on the App Store’s top free apps chart, from No. 26 to No. 4, according to app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
By Friday morning, the app was in second place behind Zello, a walkie-talkie app that can be used in emergencies.
“One of our top priorities is fuel availability,” Gov. Scott said at a press conference on Thursday. “We know there are problems with supply at gas stations, and we are working around the clock to get fuel to you….the GasBuddy app is a great resource to find open stations with fuel.”
Much like navigation app Waze, GasBuddy relies on crowdsourcing to help drivers find nearby gas stations. Users can also search for clean restrooms, friendly service, low prices, and more. Before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last week, the app was ranked No. 712 in the App Store, according to Sensor Tower.
“We estimate that GasBuddy has been downloaded approximately half a million times in the U.S. across the App Store and Google Play since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25,” Oliver Yeh, Sensor Tower’s cofounder, wrote in an emailed statement. “That is an increase of about 420% over the preceding 14 day period.”
Here’s a look at GasBuddy’s growth since August 28:
- Sensor Tower
As Irma leaves a wake of devastation in the Caribbean, Florida is preparing for the hurricane to make landfall as soon as Saturday night.The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Irma could go through South Florida, up through the rest of the state, and into Georgia. Florida and Georgia have both issued evacuation orders from parts of both states, which mean gas is in high demand.
GasBuddy is free for customers to use, but there is an option for businesses to advertise on the app. Companies can promote their brand within the app with native ads, videos, and giveaways. GasBuddy also makes money through its Business Pages, which allow brands to manage their station listings and access market data.