Most Popular Apps (2022)

David Curry

Updated: May 11, 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.

App Downloads 2021
TikTok 656 million
Instagram 545 million
Facebook 416 million
WhatsApp 395 million
Telegram 329 million
Snapchat 327 million
Zoom 300 million
Facebook Messenger 268 million
CapCut 255 million
Spotify 203 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
TikTok 94 million
Instagram 64 million
Snapchat 56 million
Cash App 56 million
Zoom 52 million
Facebook Messenger 51 million
Facebook 47 million
WhatsApp 47 million
YouTube 47 million
HBO Max 45 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
NHS App 22 million
WhatsApp 20 million
Microsoft Teams 19 million
TikTok 18 million
Zoom 16 million
NHS Covid-19 14 million
Instagram 12 million
YouTube 12 million
Uber Eats 10 million
Disney+ 10 million

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.

App Monthly Active Users 2021
WeChat 1,005 million
AliPay 845 million
Taobao 750 million
Pinduoduo 740 million
Douyin 686 million
QQ 638 million
iQiyi 605 million
Tencent Video 605 million
Baidu 494 million
Sogou Pinyin 468 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
MX TakaTak 181 million
Instagram 178 million
Facebook 176 million
Snapchat 166 million
Meesho 158 million
Moj 139 million
Flipkart 133 million
Ludo King 129 million
Josh 127 million
PhonePe 120 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
TikTok 79 million
Shopee 76 million
Kwai 74 million
NuBank 38 million
WhatsApp 35 million
PicPay 35 million
Shein 34 million
Instagram 34 million
Facebook 33 million
Resso 33 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Subway Surfers 191 million
Roblox 182 million
Bridge Race 169 million
Garena Free Fire – New Age 154 million
Among Us 152 million
Hair Challenge 138 million
Join Clash 136 million
8Ball Pool 130 million
Ludo King 125 million
Candy Crush Saga 119 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
TikTok 656 million
Instagram 545 million
Facebook 416 million
WhatsApp 395 million
Snapchat 327 million
Twitter 171 million
MX TakaTak 128 million
Discord 121 million
WeChat 119 million
Josh 111 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
WhatsApp 480 million
Telegram 429 million
Snapchat 383 million
Messenger 363 million
Zoom 353 million
Google Meet 225 million
WhatsApp Business 223 million
Microsoft Teams 170 million
Discord 134 million
WeChat 104 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Netflix 173 million
YouTube 166 million
Google Play Games 131 million
Disney+ 126 million
Amazon Prime Video 120 million
YouTube Kids 91 million
HBO Max 73 million
Twitch 69 million
Hotstar 56 million
Pluto TV 54 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Spotify 203 million
Resso 85 million
YouTube Music 79 million
StarMaker 76 million
Shazam 75 million
SoundCloud 52 million
Amazon Music 44 million
Wynk Music 38 million
Music Player 38 million
JioSaavn 35 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Shopee 203 million
Shein 190 million
Meesho 153 million
Amazon 148 million
Flipkart 93 million
AliExpress 84 million
Wish 72 million
Pinduoduo 67 million
Lazada 67 million
Alibaba 62 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
McDonalds 116 million
Uber Eats 72 million
DoorDash 43 million
Starbucks 30 million
foodpanda 28 million
Zomato 27 million
Meituan Takeaway 26 million
Domino’s 24 million
Grab 23 million
Too Good To Go 21 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Google Maps 106 million
Uber 94 million
Booking.com 63 million
Google Earth 57 million
Airbnb 44 million
DiDi 27 million
Bolt 25 million
Lyft 23 million
Where is my Train 23 million
Grab 23 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Google Classroom 75 million
Toca Life World 68 million
Duolingo 65 million
Brainly 64 million
Photomath 46 million
PictureThis 37 million
Kahoot! Play & Create 25 million
Cake 23 million
BYJU’s 22 million
Qanda 21 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Tinder 67 million
Badoo 35 million
Bumble 22 million
Tantan 20 million
CuteU 18 million
Grindr 12 million
Plenty of Fish 11 million
Lamour 11 million
Hinge 10 million
Happn 9 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Flo 35 million
MiFit 35 million
Home Workout – No Equipment 33 million
Six Pack in 30 Days 28 million
Lose Weight for Women 27 million
Calm 24 million
Muscle Booster 22 million
e-Nabiz 22 million
Strava 22 million
MyFitnessPal 22 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
PayPal 106 million
Google Pay 82 million
PhonePe 79 million
AliPay 68 million
Cash App 57 million
Paytm 37 million
Venmo 31 million
Zelle 17 million
Western Union 12 million
Remitly 5 million

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.

App Downloads 2021
Binance 64 million
Crypto.com 41 million
Coinbase 40 million
Trust 16 million
eToro 8 million
Coinbase Wallet 7 million
CoinMarketCap 7 million
CoinSwitch 7 million
Voyager 6 million
BtcTurk 4 million

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)

App Downloads 2020
TikTok 850 million
WhatsApp 600 million
Facebook 540 million
Instagram 503 million
Zoom 477 million
Messenger 404 million
Snapchat 281 million
Telegram 256 million
Google Meet 254 million
Netflix 223 million

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Games (2020)

App Downloads 2020
Among Us! 264 million
Subway Surfers 227 million
Garena Free Fire 218 million
PUBG Mobile 175 million
Gardenscapes 171 million
Roblox 158 million
Hunter Assassin 155 million
Tiles Hop 151 million
Join Clash 149 million
Brain Test 138 million

Source: Apptopia

Most Popular Apps (2019)

App Downloads 2019
WhatsApp 769 million
TikTok 727 million
Messenger 723 million
Facebook 682 million
Instagram 438 million
Likee  327 million
SHAREit 321 million
Snapchat 275 million
Spotify 226 million
Netflix 225 million

Source: AppMagic

Most Popular Games (2019)

App Downloads 2019
Garena Free Fire 377 million
PUBG Mobile 268 million
Subway Surfers 227 million
Fun Race 3D 210 million
Color Bump 3D 205 million
My Talking Tom 2 162 million
Run Race 3D 158 million
Sand Balls – Puzzle Game 154 million
Homescapes 153 million
Stack Ball 152 million

Source: AppMagic

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