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Most Popular Apps of 2022 Based on Downloads, Spend, and Active Users

Surprisingly, mobile is still growing in 2022, more than a decade after the smartphone era began.

In the first quarter of 2022, we installed 37 billion apps, an 11% increase over the same period in 2021. Most of those are on Android devices (approximately 28 billion). Only about eight billion people were using iOS. iOS accounted for nearly $2 for every dollar spent on Android: $1.80.

However, there is plenty of money to go around.

In 2021, TikTok was the most downloaded mobile app worldwide. The short-video-sharing app generated 656 million downloads during the examined year. The mobile apps of social media and communication platforms Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, followed with 545 million, 416 million, and 395 million downloads, respectively. The cloud-based instant messaging service Telegram had 329 million downloads from global users in 2021.

With a few non-obvious additions, the top apps by downloads in Q1 are a who’s who of mobile. Instagram defeated TikTok in the battle of the titans, at least for the time being. Telegram is still popular because it serves as the foundation for a significant portion of private group and individual messaging for people and groups concerned about censorship on other platforms.

Top Global Apps by downloads, Q1 2022

  1. Instagram
  2. TikTok
  3. Facebook
  4. WhatsApp Messenger
  5. Snapchat
  6. Telegram
  7. Shopee
  8. Facebook Messenger
  9. Spotify
  10. Zoom Cloud Meetings

Top Global Apps by consumer spend, Q1 2022

  1. TikTok
  2. YouTube
  3. Tinder
  4. Disney+
  5. HBO Max
  6. Tencent Video
  7. Google One
  8. Piccoma
  9. iQiYi
  10. QQ Music

Facebook has the most monthly active users worldwide, with all four of the top four apps, followed by TikTok, Amazon, Twitter, and others.

Top Global Apps by monthly active users, Q1 2022

  1. Facebook
  2. WhatsApp Messenger
  3. Instagram
  4. Facebook Messenger
  5. TikTok
  6. Amazon
  7. Telegram
  8. Twitter
  9. Spotify
  10. Netflix

Let’s dip you into data and understand the usage statistics of popular apps in detail –

Instagram

Following a name change from Burbn by the founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram launched on October 6, 2010. It attracted 100,000 users in a single week!

Instagram reached 1 million monthly users in 67 days, and by February 2011, funding from investors had given the app a $25 million valuation. It recorded 10 million MAUs after a year. Twenty-four months after the original release date and 30 million monthly active users later, Facebook purchased the social network by introducing an iPhone app.

Instagram is –

  • Accessed by 28.88% of the 4.8 billion active internet users worldwide.
  • Accessed by 26.3% of the 5.27 billion active mobile phone users worldwide.
  • Accessed by 30.94% of the 4.48 billion active social media users worldwide.

Instagram’s story usage achieved that milestone eight months after the platform’s launch, whereas Snapchat took six years to reach 150 million daily active users.

Facebook

As of the second quarter of 2022, Facebook had over 2.93 billion monthly active users (MAU), making it the most famous online social network globally. It took the site just over 13 years to reach 2 billion active users globally in the second quarter of 2017. In contrast, it took 11.2 years for Instagram, owned by Meta, and a little over 14 years for YouTube, owned by Google. As of January 2022, India had the most viewership on Facebook, with approximately 330 million members, followed by the United States (US), with about 179 million users. Brazil and Indonesia both have a significant amount of interest in the platform.

By the fourth quarter of 2021, the parent corporation of Facebook, Meta, had a total of 3.59 billion core product users. Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Oculus, Meta’s virtual reality subsidiary that makes VR gear, are other Meta products. Revenue for Meta increased to 117 billion US dollars in 2021 from roughly 86 billion US dollars the year before.

TikTok

Despite being banned in India the year before and losing a sizable portion of its following, TikTok hit the landmark of three billion downloads globally in July 2021. Although TikTok app downloads decreased in the first half of 2021, the well-known video app ranks among the top applications in Google Play and the Apple App Store globally. Android and iOS device user counts have skyrocketed and continued to rise, touching 30 million and 120 million monthly active users (MAU) in January 2022.

While usage rates were returning to normal in 2021, mobile users spent much time on mobile apps in 2020. However, social media platforms continue to receive the lion’s share of user demand. Whether professionally made or user-generated, online video content is extremely popular with social media users. As a result, it spreads across established platforms like Instagram and acts as a launching pad for newer applications like TikTok.

Snapchat

Snapchat reached 347 million daily active users worldwide as of the second quarter of 2022, a steep growth from 293 million DAU in the second quarter of 2021, a more than 18% increase.

Snapchat debuted in 2011 and has become one of the world’s most popular social messaging and photo-sharing apps. Snapchat ranks among the most popular social networks in the world, with nearly 530 million active users as of April 2021. Overall, Snapchat is reportedly used by 48 percent of US internet users aged 15 to 25 years, the highest usage reach of any age group. Snapchat’s performance in terms of user satisfaction with social media is fair to middling. According to recent survey results, the social app received 72 out of 100 points on a consumer satisfaction scale, ranking ahead of Twitter and Facebook but behind Pinterest and Instagram’s eternal rival.

Twitter

Twitter is a social networking service that allows users to send 280-character messages known as tweets. Registered users can read, post, and follow other users via update feeds. Twitter was established in 2006 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Twitter had 217 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU) as of the fourth quarter of 2021, indicating consistent user growth in recent years. Although the microblogging platform is popular, its audience size pales compared to social media behemoths like Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp, which all have over 2 billion monthly active users. Twitter is popular among those aged 25 to 34, accounting for 38.5 percent of the social platform’s global user base in 2021.

Telegram

Telegram’s popularity grew after the announcement that WhatsApp would release a new privacy policy update was met with user criticism, reaching 64 million installs worldwide in January 2021. Telegram downloads in the Asia-Pacific region reached approximately 62 million at the start of 2021, accounting for 38% of global downloads in the first quarter of 2021. In 2021, most of the Telegram’s global audience comprised users aged 25 to 34.

Telegram, a cloud-based mobile messaging app, had 500 million monthly active users worldwide as of April 2022. Telegram is a messaging app founded in 2013 by Nikolai and Pavel Durov. They had previously established the Russian social network VK, which the Mail.ru Group acquired.

WhatsApp

From 2020 to 2022, the number of global WhatsApp users increased by 22%, and it is expected to reach 2.26 billion unique users globally by June 2022. WhatsApp was the most downloaded chat and messaging app in the world in January 2022, with about 40.6 million downloads across App Store and the Google Play Store. According to Meta’s company data, WhatsApp has a global volume of 100 billion messages exchanged daily as of the third quarter of 2020, an increase of nearly 70% from the fourth quarter of 2017.

Although WhatsApp has the most significant global audience, it is increasingly being challenged by other social messenger apps like Telegram and Signal. WhatsApp has been scrutinized in recent years due to its privacy policies. The most recent major privacy policy update announced by WhatsApp on January 4, 2021, resulted in a minor but significant increase in daily active users on Telegram and Signal in February 2021. In April 2021, Telegram had approximately 26 million global installs, while Signal had three million global installs in the same month.

Shopee

In the second quarter of 2022, the online marketplace Shopee processed two billion orders. Shopee is a subsidiary of Sea Limited, one of Southeast Asia’s leading online service providers.

Spotify

Spotify is a music streaming service that was founded in Sweden in 2006. The platform is accessible via a variety of devices. It allows users to browse a music catalog licensed by multiple record labels and create and share playlists with other users. Additionally, listeners can enjoy music free with advertisements or purchase a subscription to allow unlimited ad-free music streaming. Spotify’s main competitors are Pandora, which provides a similar service, and Apple Music, which debuted in 2015. Pandora is the highest-grossing music app title in the Apple App Store, generating more than $15 million in revenue each month.

Spotify had 188 million premium subscribers worldwide in the second quarter of 2022, up from 165 million in the same quarter of 2021. Spotify’s subscriber base has grown dramatically in recent years, doubling since early 2017.

Zoom

Zoom Video Communications expects 300 million daily meeting participants worldwide by April 2020. Only six months prior, at the end of 2019, this figure stood at 10 million meeting attendees. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted businesses worldwide to adopt Zoom to stay connected to employees and customers while working from different locations—this increased platform usage in 2020. Individuals also use the Zoom video platform to keep in touch with friends and family.

Amazon

Amazon.com is a global online retailer that provides computing services, digital content, consumer electronics, and other services like daily deals and groceries. Amazon is the leading e-commerce company in the United States, with net sales of nearly 386 billion US dollars in 2020. Amazon is a global marketplace for first- and third-party sellers (3P). The former are vendors who sell products directly to Amazon, who then resells them to end users. The latter are independent sellers who use Amazon as an e-commerce platform to sell their goods. Pricing and product listing are controlled by third-party sellers, a strategy that has proven highly successful for SME businesses in the United States.

Netflix

Netflix has grown from its humble beginnings as a DVD-by-mail service to become one of the world’s most popular video streaming services. In just 13 years, Netflix’s revenue has risen from 1.36 billion to over 26 billion. The number of paid Netflix subscribers in the United States and Canada will surpass 75 million by the end of 2021. However, due to a saturated SVOD market with ever-increasing costs, the subscriber count fell below 74 million in the first two quarters of 2022. To offset further losses, Netflix announced plans to launch a lower-cost ad-supported tier in November 2022, as well as strategies to limit account sharing.

Youtube

India had the largest YouTube audience as of April 2022, with approx. Four hundred sixty-seven million users engage with the famous social video platform.

The United States came in second, with about 247 million YouTube viewers, and Indonesia came in third place, with 139 million YouTube users. During the study period, approximately 57.6 million internet users in the United Kingdom interacted with the platform.

As social video consumption has shifted to mobile, more users are engaging with YouTube on mobile devices than on desktop devices. The United States was the leading mobile market for Alphabet-owned video giant YouTube in the second quarter of 2022, with users in the country generating over 10.5 million downloads on iOS and approximately 960 thousand downloads on Android devices. India was also one of the top YouTube markets, with 1.40 million Android downloads and over one million iOS downloads in the same period. In terms of revenue, the YouTube app generated approximately 39 million US dollars in the United States and 17.5 million US dollars in Japan in June 2022.

Conclusion

The pandemic severely impacted the app market.

App spending on premium access, in-app purchases, and subscriptions increased by 30% in 2020, reaching $111 billion.

And, while COVID-19 restrictions are easing in most parts of the world, app spending isn’t going away anytime soon. Analyzing to above data, it is clear that spending is expected to reach $270 billion by 2025.

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