Top 9 Most Popular Downloaded Apps Today
Top 9 Most Popular Downloaded Apps Today
Table of Content

Smartphone apps have changed our lives. Social networking and gaming apps are more popular among smartphone users across the world.

This graphic uses data from a recent report by Sensor Tower to show the top 10 most downloaded apps around the world in Q1 2022 from the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Outside of the workplace, TikTok remained the most popular app worldwide for the second year in a row. It managed to divert a potential sale to Oracle and Walmart, with the Biden Administration reverting a previous order to sell the app authorized by President Trump.

Its ban in India has led to a new segment of TikTok-like apps, vying to take the short-video crown in the country. Several of these apps have added over 50 million users this year alone, with TikTok reportedly missing out on a potential 250 million active users because of the ban.

Facebook still dominated total download charts, with four of the top 10 most downloaded apps published by the social network.

In a year when several app sectors saw five years of growth in a few months, it is impressive that most managed to keep pace with 2020 downloads. Total downloads were down, with top apps like TikTok, Facebook, and Snapchat losing over 100 million downloads in 2021.

Let’s take a look at the current most downloaded apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Keep in mind that certain apps that are growing fast are not on this list because they are only for iPhone users and therefore not as widely downloaded.

Social Reigns Supreme

According to the report, total app downloads reached 36.9 billion in Q1 2022, a 1.4% increase compared to Q1 2021.

A majority of the top 10 most downloaded apps were social media platforms, with Meta and ByteDance owning six of the top 10.

Meta’s four platforms on the list are Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger, while ByteDance owns TikTok and video-editing platform CapCut.

Why Should a Business Invest In Mobile App Development

Mobile users are steadily increasing, which makes a mobile presence imperative for most businesses. Users love working with companies that make it easy to access their content and do the things they want to do directly from their smartphones and tablets.

The best mobile apps increase customer engagement by solving a problem and offering a powerful UX. They also provide a personalized channel to connect with a business, along with quick, easy access to customer support.

Digital transformation is shaping the future of every business that’s operating online, and missing out could spell disaster. The most popular apps, which we highlighted here, have leveraged technology to become successful around the world. Building a feature-rich application with the help of a skilled team of developers and designers can take your business to new heights.

Top 9 Most Popular Downloaded Apps Today

1. TikTok

Photo: hoanghamobile
Photo: hoanghamobile

It’s no surprise that TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps of 2021. By April of last year, the app had amassed over 2 billion downloads overall globally. Initially this app was seen as a Gen Z space only, but it has experienced an influx of new users due to world-wide lockdown measures.

As more users are stuck at home and on their phones, they’re looking for new ways to entertain themselves. Social media users are already attracted to video, and when you combine that with TikTok’s intelligent algorithm, you create a nearly irresistible app for users.

This statistic is great news for marketers as TikTok marketing opportunities are growing, from creating organic content to paid TikTok Ads.

2. YouTube

Best for watching and uploading a wide range of videos.

YouTube is the best place for watching videos. You can watch songs, dance, recipes, DIY, tutorials, and many more videos. You can also watch complete movies here. If you want to upload videos, you can do that as well. If your videos get a substantial number of subscribers, you can also earn well from your channel.


  • Search and watch videos.
  • Creating a personal YouTube channel.
  • Uploading videos.
  • Download, like, comment, and share the videos.
  • Subscribing to channels you like.

YouTube is an app that you can use to keep yourself entertained on the go. You can watch millions of different types of videos and upload them as well.

3. WhatsApp

Photo: thegioididong
Photo: thegioididong

Launched in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, and sold to Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, WhatsApp is popular around the world. It’s used to chat, make phone calls, and communicate seamlessly by using internet data to bypass international phone networks. It currently has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide.

In July 2018, WhatsApp was third with 2.9 billion downloads. In 2022, it jumped to first place.

WhatsApp—which is the world's most popular instant messaging tool—has been under Facebook's ownership since a $19 billion buyout in early 2014.

4. Facebook

It's not surprising to see Facebook as one of the world's downloaded apps. Despite seemingly endless scandals, questionable privacy practices, and the #DeleteFacebook movement, it still reigns supreme and is one of the most popular Google store apps.

Not everyone is happy though, as this app has 76 million one-star ratings. Perhaps it's justified; the app is bloated with pointless features that few people bother to use.

5. Instagram

Rounding out the Facebook family is Instagram. This photo and video sharing app is one of the most popular apps among Gen Z and Millennials. Though this app likes to keep their stats under wraps, it's fair to assume that due to its popularity and unmoving status in the app stores, it has surely retained its popularity in 2021.

Instagram is especially useful when it comes to marketing. According to Statista, brands uploaded an average of 0.7 posts to the social platform every day in 2018. Between IGTV, Instagram Lives, and Instagram Stories, the app provides plenty of opportunities for marketers to engage with their audience.

In Summer of 2020, Instagram announced their newest feature, Reels, which is in direct competition with TikTok. It will be interesting to see how this feature evolves over time and impacts downloads.

6. Netflix

Photo: vietgiaitri
Photo: vietgiaitri

Netflix is a subscription-based video-on-demand app. It is the world’s foremost subscription Over the Top (OTT) media service, accessible on multiple devices, including mobile. Netflix constantly updates its huge inventory of films with the latest and most acclaimed movies and shows across many genres.

At the end of 2020, Netflix had over 204 million paying subscribers, and 47% of Americans prefer Netflix over any other video streaming service. Usership skyrocketed even more as the Covid-19 pandemic wore on, with many of us on lockdown and longing to escape into a world of cinema.

A few things the Netflix app does right:

  • Suggestions based on the content users like have not only allowed Netflix to keep users engaged, but it’s led to a burgeoning of original TV shows produced by Netflix itself.
  • Offline viewing lets users download shows and movies so they can view them later on the metro or anywhere else they don’t get data service. We’re getting used to this by now, but it used to be that we could only stream content using a live connection.
  • Parental controls allows parents to easily control the content their kids download on a family plan, and it can all be done via the app.

8. Snapchat

Best for making and sharing ads specific to the target demographic easily and quickly.

Snapchat is a particularly popular app for young people aged 34 and under. It has been downloaded more than 200 million times. Snapchat can be used for both fun and business. Its Instant Create feature allows you to make ads based on location and share them with their target demographic easily and quickly.


  • Taking pictures, recording videos.
  • Filters, lenses, and other effects.
  • Offer privacy and security.
  • Disappearing messages.
  • Screenshot notification.

Snapchat is as secure as it is fun to use. It offers a lot of filters. You can make messages disappear after a certain time, and it tells you when someone takes a screenshot of the messages you have sent.

9. HBO Max

Photo: apsachieveonline
Photo: apsachieveonline

Best for watching movies and premium TV shows from Warner Brothers.

If you are a fan of watching amazing TV shows and movies, HBO Max is the app you will love. It has over 10,000 hours of content with the most popular shows and exclusive content. You can access it through a browser or download the app. You can also watch movies and shows offline by downloading them.


  • Exclusive content
  • App and browser support
  • An impressive collection of content
  • Option to download
  • Exclusive content

With HBO Max, you will never get bored. You can use your internet connection to view unlimited content of series, movies, documentaries, etc. Or you can download them to watch while traveling.

Most Popular Apps 2021 (Global)

TikTok retained its spot as the most downloaded app in 2021, although total downloads decreased by 194 million in 2021. Facebook had three apps in the top five.

Most Popular Apps 2021 (United States)

TikTok remained the most popular app in the US as well, increasing its total downloads for the year by two million.

Most Popular Apps 2021 (United Kingdom)

Millions of Brits downloaded the NHS App in 2021 to access their Covid pass, which let them attend festivals, large events and go on holiday. TikTok dipped in popularity, and Microsoft Teams surpassed Zoom in total downloads.

Most Popular Apps 2021 (India)

TikTok’s ban in India made way for several clones built by Indian developers, with MX TakaTak, Moj and Josh all competing for the short-video crown. Instagram is also competing with Reels, which it has marketed heavily in the country.

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