Most Popular Apps (2022)

David Curry

Updated: August 31, 2022

Carrying the momentum from 2020 was always going to be difficult for apps like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, which noticed rapid growth in 2020 as millions of businesses, schools and people adapted their workspace to a virtual environment.

However, while countries re-opened their offices, pubs and borders, the effects of the pandemic and the return of Covid through delta and omicron has led to continued use of these applications and the changes to how we work are likely to be the new normal.

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 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.

Some newer categories, like cryptocurrency, saw much higher downloads and usage in 2021 than in the previous year. Others, such as travel, transport and dating, benefited from the opening up of tourism and hospitality.

We have collected data and statistics on the most popular apps by country and by category. Read on below to find out more.

Most Popular Apps Key Statistics

  • TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in 2021, with 656 million downloads
  • Among Us was the most downloaded globally in 2020, with 285 million downloads
  • Four of the ten most downloaded apps of 2021 were published by Facebook

Most Popular Apps by Country

In this section, we take a look at the most popular apps in each country. We cover global, Brazil, China, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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.

AppDownloads (mm)
TikTok656
Instagram545
Facebook416
WhatsApp395
Telegram329
Snapchat327
Zoom300
Messenger268
CapCut255
Spotify203

Source: Apptopia

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. Cash App is another 2021 success story, with more users and downloads than 2020, possibly due to the influx of new cryptocurrency buyers.

AppDownloads (mm)
TikTok94
Instagram64
Snapchat56
Cash App56
Zoom52
Messenger51
Facebook47
WhatsApp47
YouTube47
HBO Max45

Source: Apptopia

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.

AppDownloads (mm)
NHS App22
WhatsApp20
Microsoft Teams19
TikTok18
Zoom16
NHS Covid-1914
Instagram12
YouTube12
Uber Eats10
Disney+10

Source: AppMagic

Most Popular Apps 2021 (China)

WeChat is the most popular app in China, which acts as a home screen for Chinese phone users, with thousands of mini-programs loaded inside the app. Pinduoduo has seen the most growth from 2020 to 2021.

AppUsers (mm)
WeChat1005
AliPay845
Taobao750
Pinduoduo740
Douyin686
QQ638
iQiyi605
Tencent Video605
Baidu494
Sogou Pinyin468

Source: Statista

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.

AppDownloads (mm)
MX TakaTak181
Instagram178
Facebook176
Snapchat166
Meesho158
Moj139
Flipkart133
Ludo King129
Josh 127
PhonePe120

Source: AppMagic

Most Popular Apps 2021 (Brazil)

Brazil had three primary apps in 2021: TikTok, Shopee and Kwai, which each had 70 million downloads. NuBank and PicPay fought for the title of #1 neobank in the country.

AppDownloads (mm)
TikTok79
Shopee76
Kwai74
NuBank38
WhatsApp35
PicPay35
Shein34
Instagram34
Facebook33
Resso33

Source: AppMagic

Most Popular App by Category

In this section, we take a look at the ten most popular apps of the year by app category. All values are global unless stated otherwise and do not include downloads from third-party Chinese Android app stores.

Most Popular Games 2021

Subway Surfers reclaimed the title of most downloaded game in 2021, it has been a top five downloaded game every year since 2014. Roblox had more downloads than last year, while Among Us was downloaded about half as many times as in 2020.

AppDownloads (mm)
Subway Surfers191
Roblox182
Bridge Race169
Garena Free Fire154
Among Us152
Hair Challenge138
Join Clash136
8Ball Pool130
Ludo King125
Candy Crush Saga119

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Social Apps 2021

While the launch of Instagram Reels hasn’t slowed down TikTok, it made Instagram more popular, as one of the few social apps to see more downloads in 2021 than 2020.

AppDownloads (mm)
TikTok656
Instagram545
Facebook416
WhatsApp395
Snapchat327
Twitter171
MX TakaTak128
Discord121
Josh111
WeChat104

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Communication Apps 2021

WhatsApp was the most downloaded communications app for the second year in a row. Telegram, considered the alternative WhatsApp for people fearful of tracking, gained a lot of new users after WhatsApp’s privacy change.

AppDownloads (mm)
WhatsApp480
Telegram429
Snapchat383
Messenger363
Zoom353
Google Meet225
WhatsApp Business223
Microsoft Teams170
Discord134
WeChat104

Source: AppMagic

Most Popular Entertainment Apps 2021

Netflix has also retained its position as most downloaded entertainment app, although it had 60 million less downloads than in 2020. Disney+ surpassed Amazon Prime Video in downloads, and HBO Max entered the top 10.

AppDownloads (mm)
Netflix173
YouTube166
Google Play Games131
Disney+126
Amazon Prime Video120
YouTube Kids91
HBO Max73
Twitch69
Hotstar56
Pluto TV54

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Music & Audio Apps 2021

Spotify has new competition, in the form of TikTok-owned Resso, which is making waves in Latin America and India. It has already surpassed the downloads of YouTube Music, Amazon Music and SoundCloud.

AppDownloads (mm)
Spotify203
Resso85
YouTube Music79
StarMaker76
Shazam75
SoundCloud52
Amazon Music44
Wynk Music38
Music Player38
JioSaavn35

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Shopping Apps 2021

Southeast Asian shopping apps dominated 2021, with Shein even breaking into US and European markets. These apps quickly produce items based on trends and sell at heavily discounted prices through flash sales and coupons, similar to Wish.

AppDownloads (mm)
Shopee203
Shein190
Meesho153
Amazon148
Flipkart93
AliExpress84
Wish72
Pinduoduo67
Lazada67
Alibaba62

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Food & Drink Apps 2021

McDonalds surpassed Uber Eats to be the most downloaded food & drink app of 2021. The fast-food chain added more functionality to its app, in partnership with Uber and Just Eat Takeaway, to run delivery through it.

AppDownloads (mm)
McDonalds116
Uber Eats72
DoorDash43
Starbucks30
foodpanda28
Zomato27
Meituan26
Domino's24
Grab23
TooGoodToGo21

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Travel Apps 2021

Google Maps was the most downloaded travel app in 2021, which is perhaps a slight indication that we’re not fully out of lockdown, but are eagerly planning it out. Bolt and Grab both saw increases in downloads this year.

AppDownloads (mm)
Google Maps106
Uber94
Booking.com63
Google Earth57
Airbnb44
DiDi27
Bolt25
Lyft23
Where is my Train23
Grab23

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Education Apps 2021

Education apps have been downloaded fewer times in 2021 than 2020, as many schools transition back to face-to-face learning. Google Classroom is still the most popular app, but had 53 million less downloads in 2021.

AppDownloads (mm)
Google Classroom75
Toca Life World68
Duolingo 65
Brainly64
Photomath46
Picture This37
Kahoot! 25
Cake23
BYJU's22
Qanda21

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Dating Apps 2021

Tinder is still the most popular dating app globally, with almost double the downloads of Badoo. CuteU, a real-time video matching app, saw the most growth in downloads in 2021.

AppDownloads (mm)
Tinder67
Badoo35
Bumble22
Tantan20
CuteU18
Grindr12
Plenty of Fish11
Lamour11
Hinge10
Happn9

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Health & Fitness Apps 2021

Once again, Leap Fitness has multiple fitness apps in the top ten, with Home Workout, Six Pack in 30 Days and Lose Weight for Women all gaining more than 20 million downloads. Flo, a period tracking app for women, reached number one for the first time.

AppDownloads (mm)
Flo35
MiFit35
Home Workout33
Six Pack in 30 Days28
Lose Weight for Women27
Calm24
Muscle Booster22
e-Nabiz22
Strava22
MyFitnessPal22

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Money Transfer Apps 2021

PayPal remained the most popular money transfer app, with 106 million downloads. India’s mobile payment market is a three horse race, with Google Play slightly ahead of PhonePe in downloads and both far ahead of Paytm, considered by some to be the PayPal of India.

AppDownloads (mm)
PayPal106
Google Pay82
PhonePe79
AliPay68
Cash App57
Paytm37
Venmo31
Zelle17
Western Union12
Remitly5

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Cryptocurrency Apps 2021

Binance remains the most popular cryptocurrency exchange by downloads, usage and volume. Crypto.com surpassed Coinbase in total downloads, although Coinbase still has more users.

AppDownloads (mm)
Binance64
Crypto.com41
Coinbase40
Trust16
eToro8
Coinbase Wallet7
CoinMarketCap7
CoinSwitch7
Voyager6
BtcTurk4

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Apps of Previous Years

We have collected statistics of the most downloaded apps and games of previous years as well.

Most Popular Apps (2020)

AppDownloads (mm)
TikTok850
WhatsApp600
Facebook540
Instagram503
Zoom477
Messenger404
Snapchat281
Telegram256
Google Meet254
Netflix223

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Games (2020)

AppDownloads (mm)
Among Us264
Subway Surfers227
Garena Free Fire218
PUBG Mobile175
Among Us171
Hair Challenge158
Join Clash155
8Ball Pool151
Ludo King149
Candy Crush Saga138

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Apps (2019)

AppDownloads (mm)
WhatsApp769
TikTok727
Messenger723
Facebook682
Instagram438
Likee327
SHAREit321
Snapchat275
Spotify226
Netflix225

Source: AppMagic

Most Popular Games (2019)

AppDownloads (mm)
Garena Free Fire327
PUBG Mobile268
Subway Surfers227
Fun Race 3D210
Color Bump 3D205
My Talking Tom 2162
Run Race 3D158
Sand Balls154
Homescapes153
Stack Ball152

Source: AppMagic

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