Last month, Apple released its listing of the most downloaded apps on the App Store for 2019, which showed that Facebook and Google held six of the top ten spots, underlining the dominance of the digital giants.
Recently, app analytics provider Sensor Tower published its latest data report, which includes, among other elements, its own listing of the most downloaded apps of 2019, covering both Android and iOS activity. And while the results are slightly different to Apple’s rankings, the end picture is largely the same.
Across the two app platforms, Facebook-owned apps come in at 1, 3, 4 and 5, again reiterating the scale and presence of Zuckerberg’s Social Network. Google apps don’t appear as prominently in this listing, but that’s largely because most of the key Google apps are pre-loaded on Android devices, reducing their download numbers in the Google Play store (for example, YouTube was the most downloaded app on iOS).
But while Facebook again comes out on top, a key highlight for most is likely the presence of TikTok, sitting right there among the giants at number 2 on Sensor Tower’s list.
Definitely, TikTok has gone to another level in 2019, but with various concerns still lingering, including questions about the true usage and engagement levels within the app (download numbers are one thing, but are people coming back to it frequently?), there remains much to play out for TikTok before it can confidently take its place as a legitimate challenger in the social media marketplace.
That doesn’t lessen its potential for marketing and outreach right now, but if you do choose to tap into TikTok, it’ll be worth keeping a close eye on your analytics, and seeing if the app is truly able to drive results for your ad spend.
Also worthy of note is the presence of short-form video app Likee (6th), which provides users with a range of editing effects for their video uploads.
Apps like Likee and Snow have both become popular – though generally not for their own networks as such. Most reports suggest that both apps are seeing significant usage among those who are looking to edit their uploads in order to create content to then post on other platforms. That said, Likee does have over 200 million users worldwide.
What could be interesting, however, is if Instagram, and other visual apps, start blocking content that’s been heavily edited in such tools.
According to recent reports, Instagram has recently started hiding heavily Photoshopped images, mostly relating to digital photography.
This could be purely based on user reports, but with new tools being developed which can detect digital editing in images, and Instagram’s ongoing focus on user wellbeing, it may align with the platform’s approach to stop users posting heavily edited photos of themselves, giving others an unrealistic frame of comparison for their own self-perception.
That would be a drastic step, but it could be an interesting consideration – and it would likely see a significant reduction in use for apps like Likee.
Also worth noting, Twitter, way down at the bottom.
In fairness, Twitter has been gradually improving its performance, with engagement stats rising throughout 2019. But it is a little sad to see it so far down the list. Does that mean that younger users are not downloading Twitter so much, that’s it’s losing its appeal to new audiences?
Twitter’s mDAU count is improving, reducing the focus on overall growth. But it’ll be interesting to see the impacts if this trend holds.