The Most Popular Apps Across the Globe in 2015
by Rae Steinbach
By 2015, there were over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide. With mobile application stores, such as the Apple Store and Google Play providing easy access to apps both for smartphones and other mobile devices, it comes as no surprise that app downloads across the world numbered over 180 billion.
The question then emerges from this number: What are most people downloading? Well, the answer changes country to country. Though we’re all connected by the usual culprits (e.g. Facebook), a few regional apps may surprise you. Check out the top apps in four different countries, based on aggregate downloads on the Apple Store and Google Play from 2015:
The direct messaging companion to the Facebook platform consistently ranked #1 in the U.S. on both Android and iOS in the Social Networking Category. Its overall success as the top app is due to its status at #1 in overall app downloads in Google Play and it’s #2 status in the App Store. As of January 1, 2016, this app is still going strong in both app stores.
Let the millennials complain that Facebook isn’t like it used to be, but this app’s consistency among the most highly rated means someone is still using it – even if it is your grandmother and all of her friends from the Stone Age.
Despite a more tumultuous ranking in the Apple Store, Pandora maintained its #1 slot in Google Play in the Music & Audio Category, securing its spot at #3 most popular overall in the U.S. Still, iOS users seem to maintain their reluctance, with the app ranking at #17 in the Apple Store leading into the new year.
Though it enjoyed consistent success in the Photo & Video category, it’s overall ranking in the App Store was highly varied, reaching an overall low of 13 in mid-November. Foodies fear not, however, as on the Android platform it enjoyed consistent success and for iOS has also made a comeback to rank within the top 5.
Don’t get too into the hype that Snapchat is in the midst of its demise. This app is looking like it’s here to stay, despite its mercurial performance in the App Store. This is great news for your morning commute, where watching people take ridiculous selfies will continue to be a form of entertainment.
iQiyi is the leading, streaming video service in China that that prides itself on its high-quality, fully-licensed material. The app’s consistent success on the App Store drove it to #1 overall, though it has since seen a decline into 2016.
Consistently the #1 Shopping app on the App Store, the e-commerce giant Taobao maintains its powerful status as #2 overall in Chinese app downloads, portraying the mass consumer culture that continues to grow in the region.
Boasting over 800 million users by the end of 2014, QQ can be considered an official social messaging app of China. It’s consistent performance for iOS devices is unlike most other apps in this list and signifies its staying power.
As the top finance application in China, Alipay is the mobile wallet of choice for a population that numbers over 1 billion people. Equally helpful to this app’s success is that it is a branch of the Alibaba company, an e-commerce site that is considered by many to currently be the most powerful in the world in its industry.
Jingdong is a company focused on direct online sales from businesses to consumers. Its exponential growth since its debut in 2004 has contributed to its recent success in overall app downloads, ranking consistently as #2 in the category of Shopping.
There’s no denying the popularity of this social networking app in India. It has consistently ranked #1 both in the Social Networking category and overall in both the App Store and Google Play.
Unlike in other countries where app rankings highly vary, Facebook’s consistency as #2 in both overall and the Social Networking category proves the unique stability of app downloads in India.
Though for iOS, Messenger often ranked #5 overall, it surged ahead on Android devices, averaging to the #3 spot. Still, its rank stability, like the other apps on this list, continues to be a defining trend of India’s app downloads.
In the category of Productivity (Apple Store) and Tools (Google Play), nothing competes with SHAREit, a file-sharing app that works across platforms and devices. The app’s appeal is its incredible speed (up to 200x faster than Bluetooth) and ability to share larger file sizes.
The streaming video platform enjoyed the #1 spot in the Photo & Video category on the Apple Store, helping to boost it to #5 overall. It’s not too surprising that the appeal of on-demand movie trailers and music videos is a global phenomenon.
Don’t expect to see this app maintaining its #1 spot into 2016: it’s success was short-lived as the companion app to the popular television show by the same name. However, since early December 2015, it has dropped out of the top 100 of overall app downloads. What we can learn from its brief stint of popularity, however, is the UK is a country that really, really enjoys seeing their stars stranded.
Similar to India, this social networking app enjoys immense popularity across both iOS and Android devices in the UK. Clearly, the United States and China are missing something on not joining the bandwagon of this messaging platform.
In the Entertainment category, nothing could beat this holiday-themed app in the UK. Since Christmas, though, the hype has died down and like I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! don’t expect to see this app remain even in the top 50 of overall downloads. Still, having Santa’s real voice on the other end of the line is a pretty awesome experience.
Messenger has enjoyed consistent popularity as the #2 Social Networking app both in the App Store and Google Play. Similarly, it is ranked #4 overall in both app stores, with a high likelihood of remaining so through 2016.
The popularity of this companion app that lets the user act as a 5th judge to the televised talent competition is highly inconsistent. Just like Call From Santa! and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! the app saw a slide in popularity since the end of December, 2015.
However, even during its peak period, it ranged on the App Store from #3 overall to below #500. Somehow, math did a thing and it averaged to #5 overall for the period of November, 2015.
Internationally, the trend for the most popular app downloads were in the categories of Social Networking and Productivity. What the world has in common is the desire to interact, whether that be within the country or across borders.
This post complements of fueled.com, Award Winning Mobile Design and Development.