New data has revealed the most downloaded apps over the past eight years, showing the most favoured apps in social media, gaming, video and more.
The research uses historical download data from App Magic to find the accumulated downloads for each app, in order to find out where loyalty lies amongst consumers.

WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messenger claim the top three spots in the most downloaded list over the eight-year period, proving the long-lasting, and continuing popularity of social media.

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The most downloaded apps by category

1) Social media

Social media sites have dominated the charts for the last eight years, with WhatsApp having received 5.6 billion downloads since 2015.
Facebook isn’t too far behind, at 5.3 billion downloads, proving that despite an influx of new and exciting competition, its reliable platform remains popular amongst all the noise.

The most downloaded social media apps since 2015 (and selected others) are:

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However, Facebook is currently facing a real challenge from two newer channels, namely TikTok and BeReal.

In September 2018, TikTok surged into the all-time top 10 most downloaded list, and has since recorded some of the single biggest months of downloads of any app. It now sits at number four in the all-time list, and is the most downloaded app of 2022 so far, at almost 744 million.

While BeReal remains at 327th place in the all-time list, in 2022 it appears much higher up at number 81. At only two years old, this photo sharing app looks set to be a big contender in the future of social media messaging.

The most downloaded social media apps so far in 2022 (and selected others) are:

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2) Games:

Amongst a sea of gaming sites, one app has truly stood out amongst the crowd over the past eight years. Subway Surfers has been downloaded 1.6 million times since 2015 and is the only gaming app to have remained in the top 10 over this time.

The most downloaded mobile gaming apps since 2015 (and selected others) are:

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However, Garena Free Fire: Booyah Day, which has received 228,000 downloads in 2022 alone, could be the next big competition for Subway Surfers. While mobile gaming has generally struggled to compete with social media sites, new contenders in 2022 could be a sign of changes to come.

The most downloaded mobile gaming apps so far in 2022 (and selected others) are:

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The most downloaded apps by year

2015
In the first year of tracked data, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram made themselves known as the top contenders, while* Skype* made its only appearance in the top 10 with 187 thousand downloads.

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2016
Back in 2016, Pokémon Go took the mobile gaming world by storm, and was downloaded a staggering 212 million downloads in its first two months after launch. However, it’s popularity was short lived, and after finishing sixth for the year, it dropped out of the top 10 list and never returned to the same heights again. It was also a big year for WhatsApp, as it overtook Messenger to take the number one spot, and hasn’t relinquished the crown since.

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2017
In 2017, Uber changed the taxi industry forever and its game changing app was duly downloaded over 191 million times over the year, earning it a spot in the annual top 10 list. Meanwhile, YouTube made its only appearance in a top 10 list over the eight-year period.

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2018
The well-established battle royale video game, PUBG, developed a mobile version of the game, wand was downloaded 261 million times in 2018, making it one of the most popular mobile gaming apps of that year.

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2019
In 2019, TikTok continued its impressive climb to reach number two in the annual list, overtaking both Facebook and Messenger. PUBG also maintained its place in the top 10, for the last time, while Garena Free Fire burst onto the scene.

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2020
TikTok completed its climb to the top in 2022, becoming the most downloaded app of the year with nearly 1 billion downloads over the 12 months.
As the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK plunged into lockdown, Zoom was propelled into the public consciousness, and was the second most downloaded app of the year. Having been downloaded over 100 million times in its debut month, its incredible figures increased further in April, reaching 146 million. No app has ever been downloaded more in a single month.

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2021
In 2021, the top 10 list was dominated by social media and messaging platforms, from TikTok to Telegram, and popular Indian video messaging site Moj.

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2022 (up to October)
This year saw Spotify make its first ever appearance in a top 10 list, with 235 million downloads, while TikTok remained number one for the third year running.

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From the data presented above, we can see apps are forever changing and it will be interesting to see where the next few years will take us. For more information and excellent deals on smartphones, please visit mobiles.co.uk