Great point, Daniel! Downloads is a point on the acquisition funnel that leads somewhere interesting (albeit several steps later).
However, as human beings we’re hard-wired to rely heavily on the first piece of information offered so the order we receive information matters far more than most people are even aware of. Psychologists call this bias ‘anchoring’ or ‘framing’.
It’s easy to manipulate people by adjusting the order of information. For example: a lot of people buy 0% fat yoghurt justifying it by saying ‘it’s healthy’. Consider how anchoring on “0% fat” stopped consumers asking questions like “is there a lot of sugar?” or “how much fat does regular yoghurt have?”. This isn’t stupidity, it’s just how our minds work. Similarly, I’ve noticed investors that learn our downloads first systematically forget to ask about active users.
Whichever way you look at it, IMHO I think you’re better off anchoring the conversation on active users and growth thereof.