I think this also comes up when trying to explain Mastodon or the fediverse to a wider audience. They just have no frame of reference for this kind of stuff. "Where's the app in the App Store?" "Why do I have to choose an instance?" "What the heck's an instance?"
It's just expected that Mastodon is a startup in California somewhere, and it's got millions of dollars of VC money and bus ads saying "get it on the App Store, get it on Google Play." How could things possibly be anyway else?