TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2020 across both Android and iOS devices. According to a report by analytical firm App Annie, TikTok surpassed Facebook this year and it is projected to have 1.2 billion average monthly active users in 2021. Other Facebook-owned services like Instagram and WhatsApp secured the third and fifth spots, respectively, in terms of downloads this year. Its Messenger app, which was the most downloaded app in 2019, dropped to the sixth place, the report highlighted. Notably, Zoom video conferencing app appeared at the fourth spot, jumping 219 positions compared to last year.
App Annie, in its report, says that global downloads across Apple App Store and Google Play Store will reach 130 billion annually, therefore posting a 10 percent growth year-over-year. Global Google Play downloads outnumbered iOS downloads by 160 percent, though downloads via both the app stores increased by 10 percent in 2020 annually. The growth in downloads was accelerated by the COVID-19 as many people spent time indoors with their smartphones. “At the height of the pandemic our mobile usage has sky-rocketed — accelerating our mobile adoption by two to three years… One of the biggest areas of growth we saw on mobile was in time spent — a product of both more people using mobile apps and spending greater time in them each day," the report read.
App Annie also highlights that consumer spending on in-app services hit $112 billion in 2020, therefore posting annual growth of 25 percent. iOS maintains the stronghold of global spend, but due to competitive Android devices and a growing device footprint, Google Play Store has seen sizable growth. Top markets driving growth for iOS include the US, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, while top markets for Google Play comprise the India, Brazil, and Indonesia. Apps with the highest consumer spending in 2020 include Tinder, TikTok, YouTube, Disney+, and Tencent Video. TikTok jumped 15 positions, and Netflix dropped from second to sixth position this year.
As expected, in-app spending on gaming app was higher in comparison to other social or productivity apps. Even in terms of downloads, gaming apps represented 45 percent of all Google Play Store downloads — up from 40 percent in 2019 — and 30 percent of all downloads on iOS — which remained constant from last year. Top downloaded games across Android and iOS devices include Free Fire, Subway Surfers, Among Us, PUBG Mobile, and Gardenscapes. Among Us made a surprise entry, jumping 174 positions. Whereas consumer spendings were highest among Honour of Kings, Pokemon Go, Roblox, Monster Strike, and Coin Master.
App Annie also points out that Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger have the most monthly active users for this year. For gaming apps, PUBG Mobile, Candy Crush, and Roblox were the top three platforms with most monthly active users. Its is important to note that the downloads and consumer spend data are based on combined results from iOS App Store and Google Play till November 2020, with the iOS results only reflecting for China. The monthly active users’ findings for Android and iOS exclude data from China from January to October.
At the moment, TikTok has been banned in India since June while PUBG Mobile will relaunch in India in a new avatar soon. The gaming app along with PUBG Mobile Lite was banned in India earlier in September.