Introducing The Most Downloaded Apps Of 2021

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Just like any other year since the advent of smartphones, in 2021 we all spent way too much time looking at apps. Now, at least, we have some data telling us which apps were the most popular over the past calendar year.

Apptopia, an analytics firm, released its annual app download rankings to close out the year and, to be honest, there aren’t many surprises to be found here. It turns out the apps that people talk about the most are also the ones that people download the most. However, there are separate lists for downloads worldwide and in the United States, providing at least some interesting differences. 

For clarity, this data includes both iOS and Android downloads. Here were the most popular apps in 2021 globally:

  1. TikTok
  2. Instagram
  3. Facebook
  4. WhatsApp
  5. Telegram
  6. Snapchat
  7. Zoom
  8. Messenger
  9. CapCut
  10. Spotify

Again, there’s nothing especially shocking on that list. TikTok being the biggest app of 2021 is a no-brainer, while most of the rest are mainstays like Facebook, Snapchat, and Spotify. The only one that stands out is CapCut, a standalone video editing app that some TikTok users use to cut together their videos before posting them on the TikTok app. CapCut’s owner? That’s right, it’s ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok. 

As for the U.S., things are a little different just because of course they are. Here’s how things shook out in the states:

  1. TikTok
  2. Instagram
  3. Snapchat
  4. Cash App
  5. Zoom
  6. Messenger
  7. Facebook
  8. WhatsApp
  9. YouTube
  10. HBO Max

As you can see, TikTok reigns supreme stateside as well. Apparently we like moving money around between individuals more in America because Cash App made it onto our top 10. The same might be said for streaming, as YouTube and HBO Max made the list as well. Interestingly, Netflix and Disney+ (both on last year’s U.S. list) were bumped in favor of HBO Max this time around. But when you slice the data by entertainment apps across the globe, Netflix was at the top with HBO Max placing seventh. HBO Max topped the most downloaded entertainment app list for U.S. users, but Netflix took silver there.

The real lesson here is that you pretty much can’t escape TikTok at this point no matter where you go. If you live in a place where people download smartphone apps, TikTok is most likely going to be king there. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s good or not.



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