The Most Popular Apps (2021)

Along with the coronavirus pandemic, the changing habits and behaviors of people in 2020 and 2021 were also reflected in their digital content consumption. The most consumed content on smartphones was through mobile apps and games. 

When mobile app downloads and in-app purchases are examined, it is possible to see that people around the world show common patterns. In this article, we will cover the most popular apps and app categories around the world in 2020 and 2021, by app store and country.

Most Popular Apps by Download

TikTok was the most popular app in terms of downloads in both the first and second quarters of 2021. For the second quarter of 2021, TikTok was followed by Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Zoom on the downloads chart

Most Popular Apps by Download

The list of the most popular mobile apps is mainly dominated by social media apps, while video conferencing and messenger applications also have a significant dominance in the list.

  1. TikTok

TikTok reached nearly 383 million first-time installs in the first half of 2021. As of July 2021, with the 3 billion install milestone, it is the fifth non-game app to join a tier that’s historically been the exclusive domain of Facebook. 

  1. Instagram 

Instagram has around 1 billion monthly active users and 500 million daily active users.

  1. Facebook

In Q2 2021, Facebook’s daily active users and monthly active users both increased by 7% Y/Y to 1.91 billion and 2.90 billion respectively.

  1. WhatsApp 

In 2021, WhatsApp’s user base in the world amounted to approximately 1,607.64 million users. The number of WhatsApp users worldwide is expected to reach 1,902.42 million users by 2025.

  1. Zoom

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, Zoom reached approximately 497,000 customers with more than 10 employees, up 87% year over year.

  1. Snapchat

Snapchat’s DAUs were 280 million in Q1 2021, an increase of 51 million, or 22%, year-over-year.

  1. Telegram 

As one of the most popular apps, Telegram has 500 million monthly active users as of January 2021 and is expected to reach over one billion users by 2022. 

  1. Facebook Messenger

As of July 2021, Facebook Messenger was one of the most popular global mobile messenger apps, with 1.3 billion monthly active users. 

  1. CapCut

As one of the most popular mobile apps, in May 2021, the China-based CapCut from Bytedance surpassed 250 million app downloads worldwide across the App Store and Google Play. 

  1. Google Meet

In June 2021, Google Meet was the most popular Google app on Android, generating approximately 16.31 million downloads during the month.

Most Popular Apps by Revenue

When we look at the list of the most popular mobile apps in terms of revenue in 2021, we usually see dating apps along with music and video streaming apps.

  1. YouTube

In the second quarter of 2021, YouTube ad revenue reached $7 billion, up 84% from the same period last year.

  1. HBO Max

In its first year, HBO Max generated $130 million via in-app purchase (IAP) revenue compared to $98 million the year before as HBO NOW.

  1. Tinder

Tinder Direct Revenue was $1.4 billion for the full 2020, an 18% increase year-over-year. 

  1. Disney+

In the fiscal Q3 2021,  the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber (ARPU) for Disney+ fell to $4.16 from $4.62 a year earlier.

  1. Twitch

In the first quarter of 2021, Twitch generated approximately 103.65 million U.S. dollars through in-app purchase revenues across Google Play and the App Store worldwide.

  1. Pandora Music

Pandora’s total revenues – across advertising and subscription – in Q2 2021 was $516 million.

  1. Google One
  2. BIGO Live
  3. Hulu
  4. Bumble

As of January 31st in 2021, the dating app Bumble generated approximately $19.7 million.

Most Popular Android Apps by Download

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Gmail
  4. Google Maps
  5. Instagram
  6. Snapchat
  7. TikTok
  8. WhatsApp
  9. YouTube Music
  10. Facebook Messenger

Most Popular iOS Apps by Download

  1. TikTok
  2. YouTube
  3. Instagram
  4. Snapchat
  5. Gmail 
  6. Google Maps
  7. Facebook
  8. Facebook Messenger
  9. Telegram
  10. WhatsApp

Most Popular App Categories in the App Store

Statistic: Most popular Apple App Store categories in June 2021, by share of available apps | Statista

Most Popular App Categories in Google Play

Credit: AppBrain

Written by Sophie Blake


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