Facebook was the most downloaded app of the decade

App Store on iPhone
App Store on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Facebook was the most downloaded app of the decade according to App Annie data.
  • Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram saw Facebook take the top four.
  • Netflix was the top app in terms of user spending.

According to data from App Annie, Facebook was the most downloaded app of the decade across the iOS App Store and Google Play.

In terms of the data, combined iOS and Android data only runs from January 2012, onwards, figures prior include iOS data only, and the 2019 portion runs from January to November.

Overall, the most downloaded app of the decade was Facebook. In fact, Facebook holds the top four spots thanks to Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram (in that order. The full list was as follows:

  1. Facebook
  2. Facebook Messenger
  3. WhatsApp
  4. Instagram
  5. Snapchat
  6. Skype
  7. TikTok
  8. UC Browser
  9. YouTube
  10. Twitter

The top 10 spending apps were led by Netflix, and the entire top 10 is dominated by subscription-based services including Tinder, Spotify, YouTube, and HBO NOW. The report notes:

Looking at the most downloaded apps of the decade, Facebook has dominated the mobile space representing the four most downloaded apps of the decade with Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Communication and social media apps are consumer favorites, accounting for 7 of the top 10 apps by downloads this decade. In terms of Consumer spending, video streaming and music apps were well represented with Netflix, Pandora Music, and Tencent Video all appearing in the top five. Tinder was the most successful dating app of the decade in terms of consumer spending, coming in second place in the overall ranking behind Netflix.

The top game of the decade in terms of downloads was Subway Surfers (15% of those came from India), whilst Clash of Clans was the highest in terms of consumer spending. Honorable mentions in the games category go to Candy Crush, Temple Run 2, Fruit Ninja and 8 Ball Pool, all classics in their own right. Looking ahead the research suggests:

This decade has been a time of remarkable growth for the mobile economy. With a 5% increase in downloads, and 15% growth in consumer spend (excluding third-party Android) year-over-year in 2019 this looks set to continue in 2020.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9